Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Christmas Joy!!!

What a week it's been for thos of us who work in the retail industry; My heart goes out to the people in stores like Argos, GAME, Gamestation, Debenhams, Virgin etc. you must be shattered with dealing with the christmas rush like thos of us who work at the local supermarkets!
Yes as you can see here we are working hard as usual (!) NAH! I'm joking as usual with this time of year it's the time for festive cheer and as usual our bosses didn't not disappoint!

As you can see we all had a lovely time!, although some of us had too much of a good time (and they know who they are!)

Monday, 26 November 2007

Electronic Mayhem

Well, in a rare occassion I'm blogging again in the same month!

Now, those of you who know me and read this will know im an avid (some might say obsessed) console gamer, others who dont will no doubt be wondering "what's a console gamer?"

Well to those who have only just arrived into the 21st century, allow me to give you a very brief(ish) history of gaming from a fan's perspective.

I was born in the 1980's during which time the only computers available were from either BBC or a company know as Acorn computers (nothing to do with a certain Ms.Wood and Ms.Walters) the rest were know simply as `mickey` mouse computers that plugged into your tv via the areial box and used either cassettes or big floppy disks that were square and (unlike todays obsolete models) floppy, these used a language called BASIC and a slighlty more advanced language called ASCII.

then a japanese company arrived called nintendo, they originally developed games for another minor games firm called Atari, the most famous model from Atrai was a console called the 2600 and was one of my first console machines, it played pac-man and donkey kong, two characters that now remain in our hearts and (to some) our memories.

Now, A rival company sprang up called Sega; they developed a machine which like nintendo used a cartridge based system, theyre also famous for giving us a rather unsual sight back then....a blue hedgehog that ran on two legs and wore a ridiculous pair of red sneakers (trainers to those unfamiliar to americano) called Sonic, rival to nintendo's main star....A plumber with a penchant for rescuing princesses from monkeys and overgrown dinosaurs going by the name of Mario.

As the years rolled by the two companies battled it out for control of the teenage market by introducing new and more advanced systems, as this progressed other companies rose to try to unseat these two powerhouses from their thrones as the top console producers but only one managed to cause a furore.....Sony

Yes! Sony, the company that first introduced the CD to our world now decided to try and enter into the fray after an unsuccessful attempt with nintendo to develop a CD based console nown then as the PSX.......

They developed a major selling product that caused consternation to Sega and Nintendo, namely the Playstation.

This little machine is still selling despite the fact that its two younger brothers have pretty much taken over the mantle of financing Sony Computer Entertainment, although that being said its selling relativley cheap (£20 will buy you a brand new one).

Sony decided to try and bring more to the forefold by introducing a variety of characters to its world and allowing the market to bring in the adults with a range of more......`grown up` titles to the world and so sega and nintendo retailiated by designing abd releasing their own CD based machines, although nintendo did not release their version till much later.

Sadly Sega was forced to give up its console development after a while as sony and nintendo were out-selling them in temrs of the hardware, and reluctantly they became sofware developers and publishers toi the other concoles, including a new rival to challenge the rest.

while the main war had been between Sony,Sega and Nintendo and fourth rival had been biding its time and now struck into the struggle for dominance......Microsoft released its first games console....namely the Xbox.

The xbox was released roughly about the same time as the successor to the original Playstation...the unoriginally named Playstation 2 and Nintendo's first widely known CD machine....the Gamecube and boasted a unrivalled amount of detail and performance by utilizing actually PC technology as part of its circuitry.

Only one thing hindered the Xbox; its size, for while the xbox was powerful it was also the size of an old VCR and weighed something similar too!

now the battle continues with the Playstation 3, the interestingly named Nintendo wii and the sequel to the xbox....the Xbox 360!

who will win? it's upto the buyers!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

The Christmas Countdown!

Well! The dreaded christmas is creeping up on us and with it is coming the annual round of madness that comes with it; namely, the mad rush around the shops, the terrible christmas songs both past and present and the demands for toys, gifts and presents from all and sundry!

From reading that you'd think i hated christmas........Not so!
I do love chirstmas its just getting harder to think of it as anything but an excuse fopr kids to demand all sorts of things that they'll play with for approximatley 2 hours (if youre lucky) and then declare "I'm bored!"

Although i'm not exactly know for religion or my beliefs I would like to think that we should try to remember what christmas is actually about......You'de be surprised to realise most small children these days think only of it as a chance to get great pressies! Plus with all the political nonsense around, most people are afraid to remember the correct meaning of christmas for fear of offending muslims, jews, buddhists and all the other major and minor religions out there.

May I point out that these faiths share their own versions of celebrations for the coming season, in fact if my memory serves me correctly, the muslims religion has just completed or is celebrating divali (apologies if the spelling is incorrect; i dont not mean to offend anyone but my memory on these things is a little rusty) which I believe translates as `festival of lights` and around the same time of year as christmas the jewish community celebrates hanukkah, they have no problem with celebrating these and not offending christians, agnostics and goodness knows who else! so top the PC brigade I say.......Put up or shut up!

Ok tirade over, next thing on the agenda.

So christmas is coming, which means absoulte chaos to anyone thinking of venturing out there to shop for their loved advice: Plan about three weeks in advance and have everything written down in a special christmas diary or notebook, that way when the event gets closer you can do it all in one fell swoop and save agonising over whether aunt Ethel would really like that mauve jumper or if cousin Mark wants the nintendo Wii or the remote controlled interstellar death blaster that you saw in toys r us.

Of course this would be hypocritical of me if i didnt admit ive had christmas in my head since the end of October and given thought to what i would like; problem is theres loads id like but like most people i have to try and stick to a budget! so right this point id like the new harry potter film (Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix) so santa if youre reading this from lapland or wherever you happen to be, please note ive been a REALLY good boy this year!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

After The Party's Over

Hey everyone! sorry I haven't been posting but a couple of things have been keeping me busy.

First off, when I came back from my holiday, I had a major problem which prevented me from posting.......My dear computer crashed beyond retrieval so i had to fork out £40 for a new hard drive (not the nicest thing to do when youve come back from a relaxing holiday)

Anyway, its now working fine and im back to blogging.

This gentleman next to me is my mate in Lincoln, Gary. Here we are about to order dinner from a very nice pub restaurant with two other friends, in a rare occassion i was able to match appetites with him (but only just!)

Yes, I went back to Lincoln, Don't know quite what it is about the place but something about it makes me keep going back over and over again.

Secondly, a few weeks after coming back I ended up partying again!

Yes I Know I'm putting a little weight on, but frankly, given what I was like when I was younger (thin as a beanpole and hardly ate anything!) I dont really mind!

No! im not pissed in the bottom left photo I always close my eyes before a picture because i end up with red-eye!

In fact I was a very good lad and left them to it at 11:30pm as I had work the next day! The poor guy in the top right however had work, he looked like death warmed up and probably felt worse!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

A Birthday To Remember

Well time for some scary news........In less than two weeks time I'll be 25!

Yup 25! I must confess I can't quite believe it myself, to have reached the first quarter of the hope-to-reach century!

Given my family history, I haven't really thought much about growing old, the mere fact scares the living daylights out of me! I prefer to focus on the here and now, I'll worry about the future when I have to!!!!

Still, 25! a nice easy to remember number and in fact I'm stretching this one as far as I can, although my birthday isn't until the Saturday, I'm starting it from payday, the 13th September and working it till the 23rd! in fact it works like this:

Payday: Thursday 13th September
Day off: Friday 14th September
Birthday: Saturday 15th September
Party!: Sunday 16th September
Holiday: Monday 17th September

Cool eh? looking forward to it!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Summer Holidays Abound!!!!

Well it's been a while but I'm back!

One of the things about working so hard (ok, stop hissing back there I know some people work harder) is that you can appreciated the free time you get and in my case i decided to get away from it all.....

.....To Lincoln! Yeah yeah! classy I know but hey! decent enough weather and a limited budget requires I stick to this country and enjoy its sights and sounds
Anyway, I hit trouble almost immediately, due to the lovely weather that Britain has been enjoying, my train was cancelled and nearly `De-railed` the entire holiday! however my mates up in Lincoln refused to let things end there, they travelled the odd 260 miles and came and picked me up! (however this did entail a £60 petrol charge to yours truly but hey! part of the fun is the surprises isn't it?)
Well, Lincoln is certainly a different place to teignmouth, many of the buildings in the city center are medieval in appearance but they blend in with many of the more modern features around the city. What struck me was the fact that the railway is an integral part of the city, throughout the city there are level crossings that require patience and skill to cross

Of course the most wonderful part of the city is the great cathedral, high on a hill (which is a murder to climb)

This is the entrance arch to the cathedral, as you can see it makes for a beautiful site, and the following pictures show even more of the outside:

Film buffs will recognise some of the interior shots from the Tom Hanks film The Da Vinci Code In fact a few of the props are still there and unless you were really looking, you'd swear they were real headstones (in fact they were plywood, polystyrene and fibreglass)

The main entrance to the cathedral proper is a cavernous hall and filled with beautiful stained glass windows which when the sun hits them leave wondrous patterns of colour!
I enjoyed my week in lincoln, though i will point out that you cant really fit everything into a week, so perhaps id better make a second visit!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Time For A Holiday!

Well summer's getting closer and so its time for the holidays to begin!

Already people have begun to flock down here to Teignmouth in their hundreds and as such the place is getting crowded!

I have no objections as such to tourists, they bring much needed funds to the area, but I do wish they would do the following:
  • Remember that the residents have been here for a lot longer than three minutes and as such are not all as thick as mud! Some of us actually do have brains and would not mind a small amount of courtesy when they barge into us!
  • Use the car parks responsibly! Too often when I'm working I have complaints that the car parks are full to capacity and that the number of tourists are disproportionate to the number of shoppers in the store! Last time I checked there is plenty of off the street parking near the beach and at the local coach station, why can't they use this?

  • Please keep their children under control! Ok, Ok ! know kids are difficult at best of times but you'd think standing there watching their kids running riot was a good way of dealing with them the number of times I've done their job and told the kids off for running around and screaming at each other!

There! Rant over! Now to enjoy the holidays!

Personally I intend to expand my photo collection a bit and take some photos of the surrounding countryside, maybe even scare the tourists away by showing off my legs and body down on the beach! HAHA!

N.B. This is not Teignmouth at sunset, though I wish it was!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

My Seaside Kingdom

This is view of Teignmouth sea front, it was taken last year when the weather was mercifully clear and in my humblest of opinions it shows the beauty of the seaside town I inhabit.

I have lived in Teignmouth since April 1991 when I moved here with my parents and my aunt.

We moved here from Bristol in order to give my father a few more years of life due to his failing health. Since then I have always considered this my home and never looked back.

The two Pictures above both show parts of the coast line facing the opposite direction to the previous picture, The second photo shows in silhouette one of Teignmouths attractions; namely the grand pier.

Here's me out on an observation platform with the main industry of Teignmouth in the background....Tourism.

Teignmouth becomes a maddening place from about April/May and doesn't calm down til September when the new school year starts.

Personally I hate that time of year, simply because it makes the town extremely crowded and means that If you want to park you gotta fight for it!

As You can see from the photos, Teignmouth has some beautiful streets and as such can be considered by many as `quaint` it may not seem like much to many but I consider it home.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

A Night On The Tiles

Yes that's me smiling! I'm actually enjoying one of my rare nights out.

I'm not normally a social butterfly, in fact I only started to go out on evenings about three months ago after I enjoyed the christmas party that our work place threw back in December '06.

Being a social misfit I never realised what fun going out could actually be! but my mates Ben and Lee started this after I made a new years resolution to develop a social life and they have ensured that I keep to my promise!

Generally, we start out at one pub and all chip in a minium of £20 to a `booze kitty` that we entrust to Lee, then he gets our drinks in and the fun starts!

The first occasion I went out with them I made the mistake of trying to keep up with them and eneded up so drunk I was sick in the taxi back! (yuk!)

This time I managed to learn my lesson and in fact I insisted on havind water at least twice during our night out. (much to the disgruntlement of the others!)

Here's some shots of big Lee playing pool against my other mate Ben, as you can see Lee is quite the player and has been known to go on quite the winning streak when he gets started!

Because I don't normally drink i'm generally the last one to finish my drink and as such I earned myself the nickname `speedy` but frankly I tend to go out more for the company than the booze!

I suppose that you would like to know if I have any photos of me at the christmas party.....Well I do! and so i suppose I'd better trot those out!

You might recognise one of these ladies from my earlier posts, Yes thats right it's Carly from `me and my mates`! the young lady with her is Tasha, another of the staff at our `beloved` co-op, she is usually to be found at the kiosk and is always very friendly to all the customers and staff alike!

its a rare occasion that we can get a photo of her so I must have been very sneaky to get one here either that or she had had far too much to drink!

Aren't I the babe magnet!? Once again it took a few drinks to get this shot and it was meant as a bit of a joke! I look like I'm about to strangle poor Tash! just wanted to make sure she didn't escape ha ha!

I must admit im getting used to going out now but will be sticking to once a month for a while! I don't think my wallet could take the strain!

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Changing Times

Those of you who have been following this blog (and if you haven't why not?) may notice a slight change to my appearance in these photos (no prizes for guessing what).

Before I get the inevitable comments, I will point out that I have not lost my marbles (not yet anyway) merely felt like changing my appearence and besides, I prefer the pic on the right of me without my goatee as it makes me look a few years younger.

I always get my hair cut every 6/8 weeks cos after that it starts to curl and then it really becomes a tangled mess and takes AGES to tidy up and I kind of made a promise to a very good friend that when I cut my hair this time I would shave the goatee off and see if I could live without it! So far so good but it feels strange not to have it there! and I've had to relearn how to do a complete facial shave (not easy for me to do as I have lived with a goatee since I was 17).

The only thing is that i've also had to point it out to my work mates because most of them wouldn't notice if I'd dyed my hair bright blue (!) and they've mostly liked it because of the above comment that it makes me look younger, personally it's a mixed blessing because although now I look younger it means I might get ID'ed when I go o the pub with my mates! Still a compliment is a compliment! :-)

The other thing that prompted the change was that after two years (finally!) i've managed to clear my final debt arrears and I now am completely debt free and H-A-P-P-Y! so now it's out with the old and in with the new!

Sunday, 18 February 2007

My Private (K)nightmare

I'm now going to show my age!

Back in 1987 when I was the tender age of 5, (aaaaah!) i was introduced to a tv show that was to remain fixed in my head for the next 20 years and will probably remain there for many years to come.

The tv show was called Knightmare and was something of a innovation for its time.

Back then, most kids game shows were slimy to say the least (all the games had that interesting idea that the slimier the game the more the kids would like it) but this took it to a whole new level!

First it was done using computer graphics, which created entire rooms and filled them with the most unusual creatures (walking skeletons being a favourite of the designers) and then they added real life actors in order to create a realistic slant to the proceedings

Second the main character was a young child around 12 though sometimes older who was for obvious reasons blindfolded using an unusual helmet

The helmet was called the helmet of justice (justice being blind) and this made way for the others in the team, namely the advisers!

There were three advisers, usually one was designated the spellcaster, another was the navigator and the third usually advised them on what to say to the various characters that the dungeoneer would meet on their quest.

Here are a few pics taken from the fan website:

As you can see the graphics are poor compared to today's show but at least the show attempted to treat the kids as intelligent!

The series ran until 1994, when the controller of ITV decided that the show had run it's course and cancelled it!
However there is currently a campaign to re-commission the show and a all new virtual reality version in the works!
As the series progressed, new innovations were created to allow for a bigger environment, this included actual locations taken from the outside world and new and deadlier challenges

The deadliest challenge was introduced in the fourth series (1990) and was called the corridor of blades!

I should point out that the dungeoneer didn't actually die! if they failed they were simply showed at the end in one piece and sent off with a scroll for their achievements!

The entire show was considered by most people to be a hit and it would be nice if the terrestrial channels decided to reshow this program but unfortunatley it can only be seen on satellite and cable on Challenge tv! (still brings back good memories though)