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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Friends, Food and Frontlines

Posted by captainbeaky on April 6, 2008

Firstly, yet again, sorry for the lack of posts. Been due to us actually having a social life, tiredness and well,,, lazyness I suppose. Will do my best to not let it happen again!

So a quick recap on days gone by. On Friday, we met a friend from work in a pub up the road for food and beers. After that we left to go to a local venue to see CSS. Once again, strange Australian band times were in effect with doors opening at 8.30 and the CSS not actually coming on stage until 11.30! Was a good sized venue and Im looking forward to seeing Architecture in Helsinki there. CSS were…well….they were OK. Nothing remarkable but fairly competent anyway.

Saturday we slept in real late, probably until gone 1pm. The week just caught up on us, plus we had a late night on Friday to contend with too. Popped into St Kilda for a mooch about, then just came back and read the papers/played games. Went out to meet more friends from work for post birthday drinks, and got invited to one of the guys, sisters birthday party in the CBD. So we went along to a nice bar, had some, or many drinks then left in time to get the last tram (1am). Was a real good night, as we met and talked to some nice folks. Hopefully the first of many get togethers.

Today we’ve been proper lazy. Clocks changed so we had an extra hour in bed, which also meant that we didnt wake up until 10 (doesnt sound so bad that way!). Did some food shopping and just “done stuff” during the day. Ive really enjoyed myself, as I had some Star Wars Lego for my birthday, so spent the afternoon watching the 1st episode of the new series of the Gadget Show, with a cuppa and a desk covered in Lego bits and instructions. Reminded me of how much we used to love building stuff out of it when we were kids. Unfortunately it could turn out to be a rather expensive hobby, as the latest Lego kits are pretty pricey. Theres a limited edition Millenium Falcon Lego model on Ebay for $800!!!! Ouch! But if you do a bit of research online, folks have made custom models for pretty much everything. From Aliens models, to tanks, to Johnny 5, all of which are fantastic and predictably, expensive to make. Oh well, I’ll keep my eye on Ebay for cheap kits – was a real treat to get back to it though!

As the picture in the post may suggest, we have struck veritable gold! You CAN get Marmite in supermarkets here!!!! And its not ridiculously expensive UK imported Marmite, its bonafide, produced over here, cheap Marmite. Except its called “Our Mate”. Woo Hoooo! On the subject of food, I had a good, tasty cumberland sausage with mash last night at the pub –  was a welcome change from horrific soapy australian beef sausages. Becca’s made a superb homemade pie this afternoon. Pickled onions, steak, lots of wine, puff pastry with a side of mash – god damn it was good! Cant wait to have it again, so we can both make pigs of ourselves…..again!

Games wise, its been more Burnout, more Forza, and Ive really got into Frontlines. I was all set to trade it in on Saturday, but gave it another bash online, and this time there were quite a few games in progress, so I joined the 1st one and had a blast! Lots of weapons, equipments and levels that arent in the singleplayer. The team and kit balance is brilliat with no uber-class that out performs everything else. Its kit structure is also pretty novel – youve got your standard, assault, sniper, anti-armour etc… but then you can pick a role to play. For example, I can pick anti-armour, with a ground support role. Now the more points I get, the more XP I earn towards 3 upgradable “perks” such as perk 1, a blow torch to repair vehicles, perk 2, a deplyable mini-gun and perk 3, a deployable automatic sentry gun. You can vary your role selection, as well as your kit selection each time you spawn so you can really tailor your loadout depending on how youre going. If youre doing some heavy defending, sentry guns, and EMP beacons are the way to go. Attacking you can go for air strikes and remote drones. It really adds a huge degree of depth to the proceedings, with the rock-paper-scissors style of balance contributing to an vast, open and ever changing battlefield. So, ultimately Ive changed my mind on trading it on (and Im sorry Andy, but Mass Effect is still going). Dont misunderstand me though the singleplayer component of Frontlines  is pretty poor, and boring. Its the multiplayer that keeps this game from sinking and should do me nicely until BF:BC comes out anyway.

So there you go – its been hectic, and lazy at the same time. Above everything else, its been fun. The weather has picked back up again too, although I hear the UK has gone the opposite way and has had a fair bit of snow! Haw……and indeed….haw!  It was hazy all day yesterday and been sunny all day today, with temperatures reaching about 22 degress. The week ahead looks good too, with it reaching a high of 28 next Friday. This all bodes well for me picking my car up next week. My money didnt trasfer from the UK in time for me to be able to get the car weekend just gone, but will definitely have cleared for next weeked. As for other plans, Im badminton-ing tomorrow, seeing a comedian on Tuesday (I forget who exactly!) and seeing another comedian on Friday, by the name of Ross Noble. Cant wait for this one!

I’ll duno when I’ll post again, becasue of above committments, but I’m going to see how it goes making more frequent, short posts rather than infrequent mega-posts like this one. The time I spend doing links to stuff seems pretty pointless too as I can see from my admin page that nobody clocks them, so I can at least keep posts nice and simple. Let me know through comments what youre opinions are, as I either you guys dont know how to use them…or nobody can be arsed leaving comments. I can see I get a fair ammount of traffic per day, but no comments are left – what gives! Anywhow, Im off to watch the latest episode of Doctor Who. Nighty night!

Posted in Cars, comedy, Food, Friends, Games, Music, TV, weather | Leave a Comment »

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!

Posted in Clothes, driving, Games, Music, weather | Leave a Comment »

Unkle Maximo Campesinos!

Posted by captainbeaky on March 12, 2008

youmedancing300.jpgA pretty routine day at work today, with nothing spectacular of note in the offing. However, its been a pretty musical day for me. Since all our desks are on the shop floor, it can get a bit noisy and as such, its not uncommon to see folks wearing their headphones to get a bit of respite from the general din. After seeing this, I decided that I should get in on the action too and sat at my desk for most of the day listening to some of my new music, some of which I bought 3 weeks ago and havent listened to yet! You see, since the world of podcasts was revealed to me, my journeys in to work and back each day are entirely taken up with podcasts. Games news, gadget reviews, comedy shows, radio programs (Adam and Joes is fuppin great!) etc…. All very informative and all a really good listen, but they have one major down side…..I dont get to listen to music anymore! As I mentioned, journeys are spent with podcasts and we dont really have a stereo to listen to so unless we catch some of the music videos on TV, its a pretty music free life unfortunately. So today that changed, and I feel energised because of it now!

First off the bat was Unkle’s new album War Stories. What a monumental album, full of brooding, moody songs that are both memorable and classy. A proper “grown ups” album with a serious amount of depth to the incredibly well produced songs. Whereas Psyence Fiction was electronica through and through, War Stories has a more roots-ey, guitar laden sound that I think is a great evolution of an otherwise so-so sound.  Superb. As a foil to this, I listened to another album which couldnt have more of a contrast to Unkles album. Los Campesinos!‘s debut album. A brilliant collection of eclectic pop-dance tunes that cant help but put a smile on your face. They sound like a younger, more raw version of the Go Team! (and also share the exclamation mark in their name) and have a lot of songs on the album that are “humworth” and rattle around in your head for hours afterwards. Totally different to Unkle, but oh so tasty! It also reminds me of some great times I had last year in Leeds with friends. 

As a result of todays enjoyment, I think Im going to have to trim down my list of podcasts, and unsubscibe to a couple of them.  I NEED to listen to more music! Oh and on another musical note, we’re off to see Maximo Park tonight in Melbourne. I cant wait, as its been a while since we last went to a gig and Im keen to get back in the saddle. I’ll post how it went tomorrow, when I have my day off!!! Woo hooo!!!! A lie in, a haircut, and a hazard perception test. May also see if I can pick up Zak and Wiki on Wii to – meant to be a corker. Anyhow, Im off to eat something and prepare for tonight (the band arent on stage until 10pm!) Ciao for now, you big fat cow!

Posted in Music | 1 Comment »

Indecision, Clouds My Vision…..

Posted by captainbeaky on February 22, 2008

2028946.jpgno one listens…..because I’m somewhere in, between, my love and my ag….sorry – got carried away there. Ah…it takes me back to my college days with my walkman permanently attached to my ears. For the folks that are wondering what Im rambling on about its…well……just Google the post title. However, I digress. the indecision stems from a total lack on deciding what to do car wise. Cheap 2nd hand runabout? New swanky, “supermini”? 2nd hand coupe? New coupe? If I get 2nd hand cars I run the risk of poor reliability and poor fuel usage, but theyre cheap. New swanky runabout will use all my money and when I can get more powerful cars in 3 years time, I wont have the capital. If I buy a new coupe, I can still get a much nicer can than a “supermini” class car, but I dont think I have enough cold hard cash to get one outright, so part of it will be on finance. I just dont know! What do you think? Comments please!

Nothing really exciting to report today. Another good, satisfying day at work, and its been quite windy. Looking forward to a lie in tomorrow though, and going into the CBD for bits and bobs. Oh, and I forgot to do my camera stuff, so I’ll be sure to post them tomorrow. Got a few (slightly blurry) shots of the local cockatoo’s this morning too, while they were quiet and sleepy! 

Posted in Cars, Music | Leave a Comment »

Heat and FIFA Frustrations

Posted by captainbeaky on February 19, 2008

sweat.gifJebus H Christ its been another hot day today. 35 degrees, and probably about 30 of those in the factory. Its nowhere near as bad as my old place on a hot day though – no “wet” machining here at all so no coolant hanging in the air and sticking to your lungs. Despite it being really hot, its felt quite changeable as we’ve had CAD training in a very cool, almost cold, air conditioned office. Its been odd going from cool 18 degree office to blazing 35 outside – hard to adjust! I hear its getting on for -10 degrees in the UK though, so I think I’ll stop whining on about the heat!

As I mentioned, today has mostly been computer training, which for once has been extrememly interesting. Learnt a lot as quite a lot of the training was practical, so it stays in your brain instead of in one ear and out the other. As far as I know, we have no more training of any great length booked from here on in, so maybe we’ll actually be let loose on the shop floor tomorrow – scary!Not much else to report really. Just tend to spend my home time watching TV, playing on 360, eating and drinking. Perfect! Im finding FIFA 08 still extremely frustrating. Every 50/50 ball goes to the opposition. They can perform sliding tackles perfectly, by my guys always get fouls.  My guys wont suport me when I break into the opponents half. they dont make any challenges unless I tell them to – I dont know if Im still just annoyed that I was so good at FIFA 07, and now its like I would  have been better not actually playing it, or whether the game has some serious misgivings. Either way, I’ll be playing it rarely as it puts me in a terrible mood afterwards if things dont go my way! Played a bit of Gotham racing after that, and was impressed. Firstly from the amount of new downloadable content and how good it is, and secondly cos its the first time Ive played it with the wheel. Its mighty good, especially in a fast car – the weather effects really pull the wheel from your hands – its fantastic. The only downside is that , as with Forza, accurate use of the wheel leads to accurate driving, which doesnt really fit with Gothams whole “Kudos” thing. However, the kudos system has never really sat right with me so its more a fault of me not liking “cool” driving. I much prefer to take a corner, fast,  perfectly than powerslide around it backwards. Oh, I downloaded (legally I might add) UNKLE’s new album, and I’m REALLY like it. Nothing at all like the last one, as its gone for a more guitar-influenced sound. Doubt it will please the hardcore fans, but for us that only dabble in the hipping and the hopping and the dancing and the dubbing, it’s a good listen.


Posted in Games, Job, Music | 1 Comment »

The “most stuff happened in least time ever” post!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 10, 2008

sculpture_wideweb__470x2800.jpgFirst post of 2008 too. OK. I dont really know where to begin. New Year has come and gone, (with the dull tediousness that it always does) and we’ve flown half way around the planet again. Should be doing wonders for my airmiles. In one year we’ve gone to Vegas and back, out to Australia, back to England, and then back to Australia again. Great for airmiles, crap for bank balance! 

I would like to say that this is the return of my daily updates, but the internet is down at our apartment. We dont even have our original phone number anymore. Its very frustrating. the telecoms companies out here seem even worse than the UK. Well, I say ALL telecoms companies, but its really Telstra’s infrastructure and inept service engineers that seem to be mucking up. The guys at Netspace (my isp) have been really helpful, but is still not fixed as its down physical phone line connections, which are rented from Telstra or so Im told. The upshot if it is that Im checking all my emails, making posts and doing a bit of surfing each day either from my phone (expensive) or going to a net cafe and using my Mac there.  Cheap rates and its got air con.

 Ok, so I’ll draw a line under whats gone before and just start from today. Went for my aptitude test at Boeing (well, actually at an aptitude test company, but its for the Boeing job) and it went really well. Well, at least I think it did. It was a lot shorter, and easier than the behemoth I did for Toyota. Im just waiting to hear when the actual interview for the job will be now. It better be soon as I was told they wouldnt be interviewing after this week! 

Secondly, its bloody roasting hot here today. 42ºC! Its not unbearable, but I guess it would be if you were out in it all day. As it is, this net cafe is wonderfully air conditioned so its lovely. Probably off to get an ice cream or something after this, to cool down once we’re outside. Its a shock to the system after the -8ºC-ness of Birmingham over Christmas. Still…..its a nice shock!

Had some tasty tea last night – on passing the fishmongers/chippy we spied stuffed (with rice, prawns and chilli’s) squid so decided to by a couple. $10 each. Thats about £4 for the uninitiated – and god damn were they nice! The standard of food out here, and the quality is superb. Popped into the offy at the end of the street and asked if they had anything like Kronenbeg Blanc (I developed quite a taste for it over Xmas) but they didnt stock it. However, they put me onto a couple of imported Belgium white beers they do have in, and if they arent tastier than Blanc! Bloody lovely! And they go down a treat in this hot weather. 

On the games front, I came back from the UK with Assassins Creed, Conan, and Tomb Raider Anniversary (as well as some DS games I mentioned in previous posts), the last 2 of which I picked up in the sales. Ive only played Conan so far, and Im mightily impressed. Its basically, God of War on 360. Quick Time Events, mythical beasts, different weapon techniques and combos etc…. Its actually pretty impressive. For £20 that is. I dont think I would ever buy it full price but its well worth a punt at half price. Recommended! 

Had a look through the local rag here yesterday and found The Wombats and Maximo Park are out here in March. Cant wait – next time we go into town we’ll definitely be getting tickets. Speaking of which, it may be tomorrow. Dependent upon the weather really – I wasnt at all tempted today to go strolling through the city today, in this heat, and in a suit! the forecast is for this hot snap to run into tomorrow as-well so may give it a miss until it cools down. It will be a decidedly cold 24ºC on Saturday so might pop in then. 

Anyway, I’ll keep you all posted on whats happening here. It may not be everyday (until my net access is fixed) but it will be more often than its been. Can I just thank everyone at this stage, for your messages of sympathy and support. I dont know how I would have coped with the turbulent past few months if it werent for your kind words, helping me, and my family get through a terrible time. Thanks again. 

 And for those that arent aware, you can leave me a message for me at any time by clicking on the “Comments” icon at the bottom right of any post. You may be telling me Im gay for buying Conan, or that  I should shutup about it being so hot. Either way, Im not fussed – just comment!. And dont worry, its secure, spam protected and every one has to go through me before its displayed. So get commenting! 

Posted in Drink, Food, Friends, Games, internet, Job, Music, Oz | 1 Comment »

all of the blood and sweat and meat…

Posted by captainbeaky on November 12, 2007

a998d60cded9c983c0895ecea8944ac5_full.jpgJust got back from seeing Patrick Wolf at a venue in Richmond and he was fantastic! Gigs must work a bit differently here though. The doors didnt open at until 8:30, so we left at about 8:30 to get there “fashionably late” and because we’d done our homework and found that the 1st support band were pooh (some NZ outfit). The trams were packed so took a bit longer than usual, so didnt get to the venue until gone 10.30, but we were amazed and pleased to see that the headliner wasnt on until 11pm! And he was doing a 90 minute set, so we’ve only just got back (1am here now).

The venue was pretty good. A little bit bigger than the cockpit in Leeds, or about twice the size of the Academy 2 in Brum.  Considering this was his forst full band tour in Australia, there was a tremendous amount of support for him. Loads of people with a very positive reaction. Was heartening to see. Patrick also seemed really pleased with the reaction, and happy with the night. Overall, a great performance – really impressed. 

On a more boring note, we did nothing today. I played on my 360, Becca read books. Both went out to a Mexican restaurant up the road for tea. We ate like pigs! Nachos, enchiladas, burritos, and a couple of very big and very tasty margaritas. Still feel full from it, and probably will STILl feel full this time tomorrow! Fattys we are!  

Posted in Food, Music | Leave a Comment »