Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Games I’m playing 24 March: Let's head to the City

For the last few weeks I’ve been watching a lot of TV (lots, House, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Being Human) and so busy that I’ve not really been able to fit in much gaming.

The one game that has stuck on the radar, simply because I can pick it up and play for 10 minutes, is Animal Crossing Let’s go to the City.

(Regardless of what some Internet Crime Watchdogs will want you to believe, Animal Crossing isn’t just for teens and adult predators,)

Weird clown mask

It plays pretty similar to The Sims, just less advanced. It’s more about collecting bugs, fish and gyroids, then going work and having a family, although you still have to pay off a mortgage to Tom Nook.
But those that have tried The Sims will understand just how addictive the gameplay can be. Checking your town each day for new items in the shops, wishing for balloons to fly by so you can catapult presents off hoping to complete your Nintendo them room or trying to catch that spider in the trees to fill up your museum.

Other stuff to do in Animal Crossing, and a favourite of mine, is to see what strange outfits you can find, including some Nintendo favourites
Link from Legend of Zelda.

Samus from Metroid

Or music heroes

Or even as your favourite own Halloween costume

Another great feature to this game is the addition of Wii Speak.
I try to stay in touch with my family back in the UK a lot, mainly with Skype. But this game allows me to play online, trading items and chat away to my family at the same time.

Despite the childish nature and looks of Animal Crossing (and that fact that this version plays almost totally identical to the DS version from a few years ago) I still can’t stop being addicted to it’s simple collecting gameplay.

If your playing this too, my Friend Code is 4898 0358 3971.
My Wii Friend Code is 4859 7530 9312 3844.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Yer Yellar Belly Paper

I’ve never really been an avid reader of newspaper’s. I think I could probably count the amount of times I bought a paper on one hand.
I did read a lot of the free papers when I was living in London but I think that just fuelled my distrust and hatred of newspapers.

This is mainly down to sensationalist journalism which nearly all papers employ now and the celebrity culture which has killed of real journalism and actual stories pushed aside.

Obviously this isn’t anything new but a few stories have came out this week which are totally bizarre and highlight some of the downfalls of newspapers and journalism these days. And if you searched my blog I’m sure you’d find a few entries about my feelings towards the idiocy of some magazines, newspapers and articles.

Firstly, if your a follower of glinner (@twitter) then you’ve probably come across this story.
The Express newspaper ran a front page article about survivors of the Dunblane Massacre. The journalist, Paula Murray, decided to befriend some of the survivors on social network sites and then reported how they boasted about drunken nights out and generally acting like regular 18 year olds and that they should be ashamed of this.
I have no idea how she came up with this idea, where the article is really going or why the editor passed it (other then just to get sales numbers up) but it’s not journalism at all. I don’t even know what this piece is trying to get across.
Glinner goes in to this article much more then I do here and his blog entry is worth a read (if you haven’t seen it already)

The next article that got my attention is in regards to children’s safety on the game Animal Crossing for the Wii. This one stung a little more then the others being a gamer. A lot of the times when there is a killing the attacker is often linked to a game, and some times by the slightest degree of opportunity that the reported has. As a gamer it does, at times, feel like this kind of entertainment is being picked on unjustly.
If you’ve not played Animal Crossing on the Wii (or the DS, they’re both nearly identical) in the game you control your character in a small town, you look after your town, speak with villagers and decorate our house. It’s very much like a watered down SIMs. It’s a game for all ages and if your a follower of the series, like I am, you can find it quite addictive spending 15 and more minutes checking on your town everyday.
In this article on an American local ABC channel it is reporting

“Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force is warning of predators using games like, "Animal Crossing- City Folk," to target kids.”

Predators, as in paedophiles. Can you name any other kind of adult predator?

Without looking for an interview from anyone connect with Nintendo or the Animal Crossing game the article explains that

“When hooked up to the internet you can talk to anyone across the country. Kids playing the game have no control over what other players might be saying.  For example, the character we ran across could be the man in California police are warning about.”

What the report fails to acknowledge is that in order to be able speak and interact with other players on the game, around the country - and the World you - have to first swap friend codes with that person which means actually knowing who that person is in order to swap friend codes.
So there is no way of being able to interact with adult predator on the game unless you first know them.
The Internet Crimes Task Force then, out of the blue and based on nothing at all says

“"There is no reason an adult should have this game," says Andy Anderson, Midviallagers-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force.
Anderson says adults playing "animal crossing" and similar games are likely doing it for the wrong reasons.”

This is just plain idiocy. It’s hard to grasp just how stupid this comment is. I’m 27 (I think…yes, 27) and I enjoy playing this game. I know the missus, 26(almost-Missus), plays it, my sister, 24, likes playing it as does my mum, 21+ (just being nice to my mum there) and none of us are doing it for the wrong reason.
Which is suggesting that my and my family are all adult predators. Fail.
The problem is that newspapers and programs love these quotes and will play them often and a lot of the population won’t think of researcher this themselves and just follow the quote on some insane village witch-hunt.

Lastly is OK magazine. OK magazine have slowly been sliding down the morale ladder with regards to Jade Goody and her terminal illness.
Whereas most magazines, articles have kept things a bit to the minimum OK magazine seem to have struck a deal on reporting Jade’s death.
They’ve stuck pictures of her sons crying along with him in the headlines on the front page (in some strange way to sell papers, I haven’t a clue who is buying it for that story but they’ve got to be a bit of a wrongun)
But no OK magazine have just stepped totally over the edge by publishing a special edition Jade Goody Tribute to her Life 1981 to 2009 (issue 666, no less - popbitch 19/3/09).
She isn’t even dead yet. Could they have not waited? Are they that desperate to pick up what has to be slow sales that they are pre-empting her death.
When I first seen that linked BBC article I looked at the image first of the magazine and thought that Jade had in fact died. But I was wrong, possibly like many others that spotted the magazine at their local newsagents the morning it came out.

The problem is, is that this kind of reporting has been going on for over tens of years and won’t go away soon. But there has to be limits really to what reporters can get away with.
Have a story that is going somewhere.
Stories that interview people from both sides of your report.
Wait till your subject has died before releasing a tribute and have a bit of common sense.

I’d just like to add, a bit off topic, that I’ve reverted to the old comment style. I don’t know how many of you had been put off commenting due to the feature rich but undoubtedly cloggy, slow and clumsy previous comment system I had. I am very sorry.
I gave up yesterday when I got frustrated far too much trying to comment on my own blog.
Hopefully my pages should loads faster and you can leave your comments much easier. Unfortunately I have lost some of your comments. Not lost they just don't show. I know where to find them when I want to look back.
Please come back and comment.
First person to comment can have a signed MS paint drawing done, by myself, of whatever you wish.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

St Patricks Day post

as you may of noticed it was St Patricks Day yesterday

and like most of the english speaking world i went out for a few drinks
for drinking guinness you got a fancy native irish hat
and there were many hats on the tops of people around town
from what i can make out this is how all irish people dress

you could get a giant guinness hat for ordering a pint of guinness
im not the biggest fan of the ‘black stuff’ and ordered a half
/just to get in the spirit of things
i asked the bar owner about getting half of a hat or something similar and she came along with a strange shaped hat
me styling weird mushroom shaped irish hat

about an hour later a friend
/who was irish so knows these things
/pointed out that the hat was on backwards
i made a comment to the bar owner about this and how it should say “front” and “back” and not just guinness
her suggestion

“it should say ‘idiot’ and ‘not idiot’”

but there was much drinking and many merriments

we hit a bar
and i spotted that the bar had a new supercool lazer shooty thing


and i strolled in the earlier hours of this morning

luckily i was saved by some ham and egg sarnies this morning otherwise id still be in bed about now

and the rest of the photos

Friday, 13 March 2009

Digg it Friday

A few slight changes to the blog.

First I’d just like to mention that I have recently been using Microsoft Writer to compose my blog posts.
Basically Writer is a free word processor to compose your blog posts for.
It works with any blog service, blogger, wordpress, typepad. It’s easy to use. In fact it’s much easier then using a blog service composer.
You can do many things with it that you’d expect from your normal service, insert links, videos, tags (it even lists all your current tags), pictures (and even toy with how the pictures look, have a look at the ‘Apple-like reflective’ shower picture from the previous post as well as this posts rounded edge photo below) and it even automatically uploads the photos to your service. You can add many blog accounts to it and as it is an offline word processor you can write posts on your travels, save them locally (you can even save drafts online where you’d normally save blog drafts) and upload them when you have connection back. And even edit you recently posted entries.
You can also add loads of plug in’s which allow you to view your flickr page and insert images easier and even have a plug in that updates your twitter account when publishing your blog.
It takes the easy use of a MS Word/Office word processor composing and applies it to blogging.
I reckon you should give it a try. You might never write posts the same again.

Also lizardspot is moving as well. It’s now taken up a small section on twitter as to not take up space here.
Although I thought for a bit that lizardspot was going to be easy this year due to a lizard hot spot right behind our balcony.

This sloping small wall right here. I spotted two lizards in one morning the other day.

Anyway, back to resurrecting my old idea of weekly Digg updates, which will be best on Procrastinating Friday.
Don’t forget you can follow me on Digg here.

  • Everyone by know must of seen ‘Bizkit the sleep walking dog’.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Who watches the El Bizco

While reading up on bits of info on Nerja and near by towns I came across an article on El Borge. I have friends that live in El Borge and it’s a very nice little village and amongst the view tiny streets they have a small zoo. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but if not I should do that soon.

One of the more interesting facts about El Borge is ‘El Bizco de El Borge.’ He was a bandit in the 19th Century that terrorised the area. Held people to ransom, often got in to confrontations with large groups of the Guardia Civil with his posse. He was celebrated in Andalucia by locals and many folk songs were written about him.

Quickly looking in to El Bizco de El Borge talks about how many different writers talked differently about him. Some called him a bully and cruel, others a hero and a rebellion.

One of my favourite pieces I’ve read is

The scene of his most famous deed was the village of Alfarnate, where he murdered a gallant young man known as El Chirrina, who had given El Bizco away when he was planning an attack.

This guy is just going around and killing people with cool sounding nicknames. That is pretty cruel and rebellious. Just like a Spanish Billy the Kid. That kind of awesome.

The one thing that stood out though is his name. After google translating it it came out as ‘the squint of El Borge.’

full translation

Other options for the translation were

bizco trans

Yes, you read that correctly. Cross-eyed! Or boss-eyed, cockeyed or, as they say from where I grew up, gossy. And it isn’t a mistake by me, a few articles I have read about him do translate his name to “The cross-eyed man of El Borge.”

It’s hard to imagine a infamous bandit, someone who strikes fear in to the hearts of anyone who faces him, as being cross-eyed.

I wonder if, when chasing after the Guardia Civil through mountains, did he ever fall in to bushes or of the side of cliff as he could see two scared Guardia Civil officers running from him rather then just actual one that was there?
Or when shooting did he often hit posts or birds behind his target?

Did his wanted poster look something like this?


*Must remember to install GIMP for future photo editing

It is very bizarre, no offence to other cross-eyed bandits out there, but if me and a friend confronted this guy and he pulled a gun I wouldn’t be able to tell who he was talking to when he demanded our farming goods and daughters.

In all honesty El Bizco de El Borge does sound like a great piece of folk lore. Something that I never really had growing up. Although he wouldn’t make a stand up role model for my hypothetical kids I’m sure he could come to use when trying to get children to sleep or to behave, or “El Bizco” will come get you.
Other stories I read about him were how, when surrounded by up to 20 Guardia Civil officers and the house he was held up in was set alight he still managed to escape and to fight another day.
And despite what his name suggests, apparently he was a very good marksman.
In fact the guy was so infamous that his death made it to the
New York Times, June 17 1889, click pdf to see actual news clipping.
Apparently his house still stands in El Borge and next time I am visiting friends there, which we are currently trying to arrange as they have recently opened a bar there, then I will ask to go see the house and see what folk lore tales I can get out of the residents at the bar.
I’d quite like to know more about him.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Safety taps

A slight problem that I’ve been finding it hard to get used to in the new place is the taps for the bath/shower. They seem to have been created with the the insides from a safe. Shower Safe

The new shower has two taps, rather then the single double control tap of the previous place.

As standard, I will put the hot water on almost full blast and then try to control the temperature by adding little by little the cold water.

And this is were the problem lies.

The cold tap seems to have very fine control. The kind of control which makes me look like a safe cracker from an old black and white movie. Within a few milli -degrees of turning, the water can go from tepid to boiling. Which means that I spend a few minutes going through slight adjustments all the time while yelping due to hot and cold water being showered on my back.

But with time, not only will I get the right temperature for my shower quicker but I also increase my safe cracking skills.

Which in turn will give me a better chance of being in the next Oceans movie, ‘Oceans whateverthelastonewas+1’


Thursday, 5 March 2009

Video killed the radio star

I think the missus hit the nail on the head when she recently commented that Twitter had taken away from blogging. Anyone else finding this? Most of my tweets would of been padded out to more then 160 letters and turned in to an actually blog entry, Twitter spam followers, craving for pasties, messy sandwich eater. It's time to claw some blog time back.

Recently on The Boy Who Likes To...

Work has been taking up A LOT of time for me. Until very recently I was doing regular 8 hours days all month. And I don't mean being in the office from 9 to 5 and actually doing half a days work, really working for 8 hours.
In the current job climate that is a good thing. Whereas many people are finding it hard looking for work I'm getting snowed under. Plus with working in the car industry that is quite a surprise.

My work though has effected other parts of my life. Blogging has gone awol, although I put time aside to comment on blogs when I can. But mainly hobbies and especially my Spanish lessons have gone. Not finishing work until gone six most nights has prevented me from attending class. I do have Spanish lessons that I can do from home but by time I finish I'm not really in the mood to sit behind the computer for another hour listening to more audio.
I hope that the weather gets more stable and warmer quicker as I will be able to sit on the balcony, away from being indoors and all electrical "entertainment" appliances that get in the way of my learning.

All this work has got me thinking about the summer to. Or at least when it starts to get hot in a few months. What will happen with my work routine? Will I be able to juggle work and beach/snorkeling. I hope so, I'd hate to lose fish chasing as well as Spanish class.

In other news. The sandwich deli that was supposed to turn up down on the beach still hasn't materialised. I did go down there for a sandwich a few weeks back and all they had to offer was ham and cheese, which I can get from my fridge. But I have started recently buying tomato and lettuce, never sure why I stopped buying them in the first place, as well as adding ham to egg sandwiches and I'm going through an explosion in sandwich fillings. Which is all good.

Still, it no deli.