Category Archives: Personal

Electric Cats and complaints and complaints about electric cats.

I write this with hope in my heart that all none of you that care whether I post on here regularly will be willing to forgive my recent inability to provide you with my ever enlightening views on the universe at large.

I realise this negligence has become a trend of sorts and I don’t provide you with the loving attention that you almost definitely don’t deserve anyway, but could if I were dedicated enough, deliver.

With this in mind I’m going to almost certainly repeat the process, but I’m sure you expected that as an outcome and as such have prepared yourselves for my inevitable failure to express my incredibly important and widely respected opinion with any sort of frequency.

A large factor in my absence has been full time work. Anyone who knows me, or has been sneaking glances at this blog in the past will know that when I posted more frequently on here I was unemployed, and had been for some time. As such, adjusting to both working and posting on a blog isn’t something I’ve pulled off yet.

I could be extremely prolific if I wanted to, but I’m sure if I were not forgetting to post on this blog I would have to be routinely forgetting something else instead, such as providing my cat with food and litter. This would undoubtably piss him off quite a lot, and I’d not at all be surprised if he spent what little food remained within his furry, static charged body to shit in one or both of my shoes.

Seen as I’ve gone and mentioned it now, my cat was until recently so consistently charged with static electricity that providing him with any kind of attention was usually a fairly painful business, as every attempt at putting a hand on him resulted in a brief and after some time frustrating static shock. Fortunately the new carpet seems to have solved the problem and I am now welcomed home from work by a cuddly cat rather than a hairy tesla coil.

Snow
He's quite a bit bigger now, so I can use the static he generates to power my PC.

Moving on…

Now that I’m working and my debt to the world is decreasing gradually I find myself starting to want for things that aren’t entirely out of reach anymore.

A couple of examples would be a new keyboard & mouse, or a new mobile phone.

Steelseries Xai
Steelseries Xai

The mouse question has become fairly black and white for me, the only question is how cheap can I get a Steelseries Xai for? Not very cheap, most sources say. The bottom line here is that I don’t want another Razer mouse. I’m finished with Razer as a brand – their products are too expensive for items that seem to possess a build quality comparable to a chair constructed entirely of the little shavings that come off a rubber when you vigorously remove pencil from paper.

So with the mouse decided on and me simply waiting until I feel flush enough to spend, I move on to the next one; the keyboard.

This one has me baffled if I’m entirely honest. The last time I bought a keyboard it seemed easy, but this time around it seems as though to get a backlit keyboard you have to either buy something genuinely disappointing or spend over £100.

The biggest shock to me was the Razer Blackwidow. Yes I looked at it, no I won’t buy it, and not just because of the reasons mentioned above with regards to my Razer prejudice. The Blackwidow is an £80 keyboard.

If I were crazy enough to spend £80 on a keyboard (and by crazy enough I mean if I didn’t have bills to pay instead) then there are a few expectations I’d have going forward with such an exchange. One such expectation is that it be superior to my Saitek Eclipse II, which I purchased several years ago. My Eclipse II has three colours of backlighting complete with a nifty dimmer switch that is of absolutely no use to me but is nice anyway, and the only media keys it comes with are the ones I actually want; the audio media keys so I can control my playlist without tabbing out of whatever game I happen to be in.

I’ve developed a deep and sincere appreciation for these keys, as they almost become part of my macro when I’m playing Starcraft 2 – 3 s d 3 s v 1 click click 3 s d nonotthatsongskiptrack 3 s d etc etc. and I’ve also learned to appreciate the backlighting. Not because I need light to see where my keys are in the dark, as I’m not a dribbling computer mong. I know where my sodding keys are already, I just like the way my rig looks with blue LEDs in the tower, the mouse and the keyboard.

Now, I’ve just mentioned the Steelseries Xai which as far as I’m aware does not have blue LEDs, which immediately seems to contradict where I’m headed with this, but hear me out.

Razer Blackwidow Expert: I AM DISAPOINT

The Razer Blackwidow Expert edition has no backlighting, which in turn means no nifty dimmer swtich and also has none of the audio control keys I’ve become accustomed to. Now before someone calls out ‘The Ultimate version has backlighting dick head’ in an attempt to derail my far from finished criticism, the Ultimate edition of the keyboard does indeed have ‘5 levels of backlighting’. It also costs £55 more.

In addition to the backlighting the Ultimate has a couple of built in USB ports and audio jacks for your headphones & mic.

Yes that’s the only difference.

Srsly?

Now I understand that these are mechanical keyboards with 50g actuation force flux coils and graviton drives with bits of gold to make everything go inconceivably fast, so fast that I’m just making things up, and I realise that these things are by default expensive, but come the fuck on if an £80 keyboard doesn’t deserve backlighting and intuitive media keys instead of those fucking god awful macro keys that brands keep sticking on the side of keyboards ever since someone at Logitech got high on some kind of hallucigen and designed the G15.

I’m just not willing to pay an additional £55 on top of an already extremely high pricetag for a keyboard just so some cretin gets the go ahead to stick some LEDs in it along with a few handy sockets. Yes, I know the keys will make many a satisfying clunk when pressured under the force of zerg macro; even my zerg macro – which is terrible, but Razer are taking the piss a bit now.

On the up side, it has a braided cable. GG Razer you figured it out. Now put those in all your mice and give me five free ones and we’ll call it square.

All in all this further reinforces my new policy in regards to Razer. I feel as though I should start my own company just so that I can have a company policy page on my company website that states in no uncertain terms that Razer can fuck right off.

Continuing to rant about Razer won’t help me find a keyboard unfortunately, and I find the Logitech G15 and its ilk to be filthy horrible creations designed entirely to fuck with my sense of where the keys are supposed to be. I like the keys where they are, and there’s more than enough of them on a standard keyboard thankyouverymuch.

My Saitek Eclipse II has been lovely and I’d keep it but I want to change it for something fresh and new, partially because I’m tired of using a keyboard that contains more crumbs than a pack of maryland cookies.

Contains Crumbs

Contains More Crumbs

Unfortunately thus far I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a keyboard that meets my requirements, all I want is a keyboard that is backlit, has keys I can tell I’ve actually pressed and looks nice. Apparently that’s asking for a tremendous amount if I don’t want to go bankrupt in the process.

(Audio control keys would be nice too).

More soon, probably complaining about mobile phone contracts.

Or Starcraft 2 Protoss Colossi.

WoT stands for World of Tanks and wall of text.

So, with our Eve corporation not actually playing Eve (unless targets are presented on a platter, a gang is already formed and they are cordially invited to attend by persons leading said gang, via Ventrilo) I’ve been mostly playing the World of Tanks beta, which while occasionally infuriating to a degree I cannot explain unless you ask me within three seconds of my T-34-85’s ammo rack exploding, is actually a bit of a lark.

I imagine it’s a bit less exciting for people who play tank destroyers, and sit in bushes like Wiley-fucking-Coyote waiting for an unsuspecting Roadrunner to happen across their crosshairs, but for me and my medium tank it’s either death, glory, death and glory, or death followed by a string of unrepeatable obscenities. I like it best when it’s just glory.

It’s a game that doesn’t really fit under the MMO title but seems to have fallen in to the trap of masquerading as one, much like so many games these days that seem to want to ‘ride the wave’. MMOs have such a high turnover rate these days that there are few with consistent player bases, and most of the ones that do have player numbers that are dwarfed by the number they launched with. The examples I’d use are Warhammer Online and Aion, simply because I played them myself and later moved on. In fact, Eve is the only MMO that I maintain a consistent ‘relationship’ with, Eve seems to have become the online gaming equivalent of a wife, comparative to other MMOs which would surely qualify as nothing but mistresses or passing fancies, who are not cut out for the long run.

Nonetheless, World of Tanks masquerades, even though the actual game system is much more like an FPS – even the more “massively” orientated attributes are easily matched by FPS games these days, as the progression doesn’t go much deeper than play matches in tanks > gain experience & cash > unlock and buy new tanks. Not entirely different from unlocking new weapons in say, Battlefield Bad Company 2, surely?

Really the only thing that sets it apart from the usual FPS system is the restrictive reliance on credits, you have to pay for ammo and tank repairs after a battle, which can be more expensive than the coin you make from winning it if you’re storming around (crawling around more like) the battlefield in a Tiger or larger. There’s a lot of armour to superglue back on to a Tiger tank after it’s taken a good old fashioned twatting, so you get bills big enough to push you in to using lighter tanks as money makers so that you can afford to use your larger ones.

All of this said, it’s a good laugh, and once there’s a team system in place that’ll allow grouping with friends (we currently count down from three on Ventrilo and all hit “Battle” at the same time, then hope to god we got in to the same match) the experience will only improve. I’m not convinced of the longevity of the game, but perhaps the lack of a subscription will compensate for that. No sub means you can pick up and play when it suits you, and the optional micro-transactions don’t seem too game breaking.

Anyway, I would talk about anime as usual but I’ve not really watched any. Since I finished Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood I’ve watched maybe 2 episodes of Highschool of the Dead, and that’s about it.

What I have been watching after some demands on the part of a friend, is Life on Mars, which has been pretty awesome so far. I’m currently just over half way through the second season and I’ve no doubt that I’ll have finished it and be hitting up Ashes to Ashes some time this week.

Now that I’ve provided something resembling an update, even if mostly a muddled explanation of my opinion of World of Tanks, I’m going to get on with ordering myself a takeaway, as it is the weekend, I’m hungry and I can’t blog and operate Just-Eat at the same time without fucking one up entirely.

Final note before I sign off is this: If you have a bizarrely named domain such as, I don’t know, ClaymoreDog.com, and you’re asked by work colleagues what the name is about, don’t try to explain, it’s not possible to do it any kind of sensible way.

Toad in the hole

No, this post doesn’t have anything to do with food, at least not with Toad in the Hole, Toad in the hole is the name of our True Sansha Control Tower in the w-space system we have affectionately come to know as simply “Toad”. In case you’re reading this and have no idea what I just said, you may want to skip downwards as I’m going to ramble about Eve-Online a bit.

We moved into Toad on the merit that it was the first unoccupied Class 4 w-space system that I could find, and over the last couple of weeks it has treated us to some fun things, such as watching Yswr’s Hurricane attempt to align under fire from four Sleeper battleships with no RR in a system that reduces ship agility, while webbed. It exploded of course, and we smirked and continued, as w-space is lucrative enough that losing a Hurricane is of course absolutely nothing to be concerned about.

This, and the small fool around in Faction Warfare that preceded it, is part of our re-entry to Eve. Once coffers are full and we’re good and ready Omerta Syndicate will see a reactivation of sorts, a return to active service.

It’s been a while, and I for one am still rusty – you play a game for long enough consistently and you develop an extra instinct of sorts, you respond appropriately to your surroundings without hesitation and you know where everything in your UI is. Take a year out and you’ll find yourself a bit clumsier than you remember.

It didn’t stop me from flattening a Navy Slicer with my Claw recently, but it did mean afterwards I lost a 1v1 with a Hookbill, something I could have avoided if my approach had been measured better, leaving me just a couple of km closer after the mutual scrambling occurred. As it was I was too far in to fall off range and the dip in DPS meant I couldn’t quite kill him quick enough. It’s all just practice, really, and I do miss piloting interceptors so I’m sure I’ll get plenty once we’re back in populated space.

Speaking of PVP, Alliance Tournament 8 has been airing on EveTV over the weekend, much to the delight of, well, the entire corp, who have been on Ventrilo cheering along with the matches like it’s the Eve World Cup. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Machariels blow up in groups of three, or so many Drakes fielded by idiots. The Drake is a hugely useful and versatile ship, it pains me to see these cretins just slap HML and Extenders on it, press f-keys and seemingly go AFK for a shit while the fight plays itself out. Lrn2HAM.

Final note on the subject of Eve is that Planetary Interaction has finally been released, command centres included, and some very elaborate planning and charting has followed on our part. PI is, to understate greatly, overwhelmingly fiddly. There are so many ways to do it badly that the mind simply boggles as to how many planets will be squandered under the control of moron armies of aspiring tyrants who will surely just keep pressing buttons until something starts moving, spinning or twirling, and then consider themselves satisfied with their shiny “Empire”. God knows Eve isn’t without its population of slightly more remedial users, and in a game with such a huge capacity for failure anything can happen.

If you wanted to skip the Eve speak then you’re safe to continue from here.

So I said earlier that this thread wasn’t about food, and I was telling the truth, mostly, but there’s one thing I feel is noteworthy, and that is Deks KFC chicken conspiracy theory. He assures me that KFC chickens are in fact not grown in the traditional manner of egg > chicken > bargain bucket, but are actually genetically modified test tube chickens that grow only a breast.

Deks, to you I say this, if only a breast is grown, then where the fuck do they keep getting the wings and legs from? I’m sure the answer will be that those are also part of the genetic growth plan, but somehow I’m struggling with the idea.

Anyway, the following is entirely to distract Deks from questing towards me with intent to clarify, and instead send him into a state of confusion. If you don’t understand, simply scroll on and normal blogging will resume.

Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line

While Deks hypnotizes himself in to a fit of rage reading that a few times we will continue.

My next subject is fucking huge holes in the ground. Specifically this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nni68iqI7WA

This is something that there is, I’m quite sure, a perfectly logical scientific explanation for. But still, it’s pretty ominous, right? A giant hole opens up and swallows a three story building. Just one building. Who lived there? He must have pissed off someone important, like, uh, Lucifer. I don’t know if the idea of disappearing 200ft down a hole that wasn’t there five minutes ago scares the shit out of anyone reading this, but I for one find it just the slightest bit intimidating. And what do they do now? Fill it? Cover it? Charge Americans as much money as possible to come see it as a tourist attraction?

Maybe I’ll look it up later, for now I’m going to crash.

Udon noodles are great

But Udon noodles and their inherent greatness aside, there are some other great things making an appearance. In between my bordering-on-excessive Bones spree (I’m late to the party I know) I’ve noticed that Hollywood is going to be spitting out some good fun in the near future and the now.

Generally I try to be one of those elitist gits that insists Hollywood movies are all woefully shit and should take some pointers from world cinema, rather than simply doing a terrible job of “adapting” asian cinema for western audiences, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood doesn’t have its diamonds, specifically, the best full-on action movies. No-one really blows shit up quite as impressively.

For example, while Spiderman was turned into a complete wuss, particularly in the third movie (Evil influence means getting yourself confused with an emo John Travolta and being rude to people apparantly) Iron Man on the other hand was fantastic, on a pie chart it’d be 60% awesome 15% victory and 25% fuck yeah.

So with that in mind, I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing Iron Man 2, and if you’re not then I think there must be something very wrong with you and I’d recommend making an appointment to see your Doctor.

I’m also looking forward to watching Law Abiding Citizen, which judging by the trailer, mostly reminds us that while you can take Gerard Butler out of Sparta, you can’t take the Sparta out of Gerard Butler.

The third movie I’m going to mention may actually cause low resolution televisions to explode due to breaching some sort of action hero capacity level. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me if the studio it was filmed in was turned to rubble in the wake of attempting such a lofty task.

Plot be damned, this has to be watched.

You know you’re out of shape when…

…Going to the driving range leaves you aching the next day. And believe me, I am aching all over, I feel like I lost a fight with a high speed train.

Anyway, YouTube is an unimaginable treasure box for bizarre and ridiculous entertainment – mostly people making retards of themselves or some variety of remix, I’m going to test embedding using one such remix I was shown yesterday, which if wordpress stops being a dick, will be displayed below.

…and there it is, Steve Porter’s Slap Chop “Rap Chop” remix.