Month: January 2016

A new pet

I miss having pets. I grew up with cats and dogs, and I’m fond of both. Unfortunately, my lifestyle does not suit having a pet. I’m just not at home enough.

Occasionally though, a new pet will move into my flat.

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Sally the spider.

Meet Sally, my new pet. She’s in hiding at the time of typing this up, but I’m sure we’ll be the best of pals!

Question prompted by Fallout 4

Why has no one bothered to clean up the skeletons?

They’ve obviously been there a while. I guess the inhabitants of Fallout world are¬†very lazy.

Seriously, these skeletons have been around long enough that the radiation is making them rather active. I made a video of it here (and a Little Wicksy youtube channel especially!).

Someone should get on to this shenanigans. It’s unhygienic.

Killer Slippers

I have some awesome slippers. They are old, comfy, and have seen better days.

They’re ragged enough that the bloke was telling me over the weekend that they have taken on a life of their own and are trying to kill him.

Now, do these look like killer slippers to you? Their teeth are far too cute.

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I should probably wear some new ones in. And hide these old ones in his bag next time he’s over for the weekend. ūüėÄ

The Great Stock Cube Debate (Spaghetti Bolognese)

Over the weekend, I made spaghetti bolognese for the bloke and I. It’s not the first time I’ve made it for him by any means¬†– but¬†previously, he had mentioned that my recipe wasn’t tomatoey enough. So, I’d dutifully upped the amount of tomato, but kept my recipe relatively unchanged. I’m not so precious about my cooking that I’m unwilling to change it. I’d much rather feed someone something they like, than have them choke down something they don’t out of politeness. I’m also of the opinion that recipes are generally designed to be altered to suit tastes, so I’m not going to rigidly follow one recipe just because. That would be boring.

So, while eating, he asked what I’d done to it, since it still wasn’t as tomatoey as he’d expect. I went through my ingredients, and we stopped at a stock cube.

We then proceeded to have one of the more amusing debates we’ve ever had. I told him to google the recipe, and let me know if any of the top 3 returned in the results did not use a stock cube. 2 of them did. Then, he found a proper Italian recipe, which dutifully did not use a stock cube.

Still. Obviously, the use of a stock cube is not that unusual in this recipe, it seems. Though the bloke is now convinced that it’s a northern thing to use a stock cube, prompting me to ask my facebook friends.

Out of the 19 people who have so far replied to my question, 16 also use a stock cube. Which is highly amusing to me. Granted, most are from the northern/midlands area (ask anyone down the south, and they always call the midlands ‘north’).

I have compromised though. I’ll follow the ‘Italian’ version next time I make it, or have him cook it for me and pinch his recipe if I like it. Sadly, he was against one of my facebook friends suggestion of using Worcestershire Sauce in it, as he much prefers this in a Shepherds or Cottage pie. To me, Worcestershire Sauce in bolognese¬†sounds like a fabulous idea.

To sum up though – I think I am able to claim 1:0 to me on this debate.

For those curious about the recipe I use, here’s a rough approximation of it:

  • 500g beef mince.
  • Bacon (if I have some to use up)
  • 2 tins chopped Tomatoes.
  • 1¬†Onions, diced.
  • Handful of random veg (carrots, etc, whatever I have to hand)¬†diced.
  • 150g sliced mushroom
  • 1¬†clove garlic, diced.
  • 2 tbsp¬†tomato puree
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube.
  • 1 tsp¬†rosemary.
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano.

Method is simple. Fry up the onions,¬†mushrooms and random veg. Add the beef (and optional bacon), brown it off with the stock cube. Add everything else, put the lid on and cook over a low heat until you’re happy. Towards the end, remove the lid, increase the heat and reduce it¬†the sauce down.

Nothing complicated, and plenty of room to play around with here. I don’t always do it exactly the same, but the above is the average I use. Looks like I’ll be hunting down a stock cube free version in future though!

My Top 5 David Bowie tracks

I’m not normally one to comment on celebrity, but this week has brought news of a few rather high profile deaths. As such, I have spent a lot of the week listening to David Bowie outside of my usual playlists.

There’s not much to I can say here that wouldn’t sound completely trite. Obviously, I never knew him personally. The mans accomplishments were off the scale, so I’m simply going to¬†list my current top 5 favourite songs by David Bowie*:

  1. Heroes
  2. Ashes to Ashes
  3. Oh You Pretty Things
  4. Fame
  5. I’m afraid of Americans

* I say current, because my favourite changes a lot. Plus, he did an insane amount of great music.

Gosh darn you, internet!

I love the internet. I really do. But it’s hard to avoid spoilers for things you really want to see if you’re going to leave it too long after release date to actually watch it.

As such, I am now pretty much resigned to having the new Star War film ‘spoiled’ for, amongst other things.

It’s hard to get annoyed at the fact that spoilers are posted though. It’s pretty much on me for not arranging to go out and see the film. My only excuse for not doing this is that I prioritised playing Fallout 4 over going out to see it. Also, taking the bloke on a date to see it is out of the question, since he’s not a Star Wars fan.

Ah, well. I guess I’m mostly over it.

Fallout 4 got dogs right.

Well, right-ish.

I’ve yet to use a companion other than Dogmeat (a dog companion) for my forays into the wasteland. I’ll probably encounter similar behaviour off them when I start using them for what I assume will be a greater carrying capacity.

Anyways, from having once had pet dogs, and allowing Dogmeat to accompany me on my travels, I realised just how much in common with the real thing Dogmeat has:

  • About to loot something? Nope, Dogmeat is right there, demanding attention!
  • You will never go down stairs without Dogmeat being in your way. And then refusing to move.
  • Barks at the most inappropriate times.
  • Is unable to find loot that is right under his nose.
  • Runs off to play elsewhere at random. Usually when you want him.

Good work, Bethesda!

How many software engineers does it take to return a call?

I managed to embarrass myself with what should be simple technology today.

I have a phone on my desk at work. I’ve worked here for just over 7 months now. My phone has never actually rung before. I’ve never had to use it – everyone who needs to speak to me is seated in my general vicinity. I have no need to speak to end users for my role.

Until today. It rang. I picked up the receiver to answer. Imagine my joy that it immediately went on to speaker phone! I briefly explained to the caller that he was on speaker phone, and told him I would try to fix it. I pressed the button that looked like a speaker icon.

Seems reasonable, right?

Pressing the button hung up on the caller. Cue laughter from my office buddies when they realised what I’d done.

So, I started trying to figure out how to call the person back. An office mate came to help me, and pointed out that my calls were all being forwarded. We went through a few options, and managed to not be able to find how to turn it off, so we gave up. He didn’t know how to find the history, though. So, another helpful office mate showed me how.

I found the number, and clicked the redial button … to be put through to the reception desk downstairs. I was very apologetic when I explained that I’d rung the wrong number, and hung up to try to return the call again.

This is when I realised it was an outside number. Which apparently needs to be prefixed. Some asking around later, and it turns out that the magic prefix is ‘9’. Another office mate helped me to figure out how to return a call with a prefix.

So, I did this. The person who had called me answered. I hadn’t had chance to ask his name before I inadvertently hung up on him, but thankfully I remembered his voice.

More apologies later, and what was my mystery caller after? Turns out he’s a recruiter, who somehow got my extension number – which is a mystery in itself, since I haven’t published it anywhere. After all, people might phone me if I did!

15 minutes and 3 software engineers later, all so I could tell someone ‘thanks, but I’m happily employed where I am’.

Not that I’m bitter or anything – but I can think of no good reason why a phone has been complicated to the point¬†that it’s taken 15 minutes of my life to phone someone back. And my calls are apparently being forwarded elsewhere now, and I don’t know how to turn that off. Or see where those calls are actually being forwarded to. Yeay?

tl;dr : It should not take 3 people, 15 minutes and an instruction manual to either answer a phone or return a call.

Open letter to ‘Leon’


You don’t know me. I’ve never met you, either.

That said, I know that you applied for a short term loan 4 years ago. Since I’m not a stalker, how do I know this? Because 4 years ago, my mobile phone started being bombarded with calls and messages offering a loan to you. And I mean *bombarded*. In the space of 10 minutes, I had to have received over 30 text messages alone. It was very confusing.

Dealing with this fall out was incredibly infuriating. The last time I spoke to one of these loan people on the phone, I told them that you were too stupid to manage a loan, since you couldn’t even get your phone number typed in properly on a website. Which may be slightly unfair if this was an honest mistake – but by this point, my patience had run out.

Want to know what was the most annoying? Asking the loan people to remove my number from their calling list, to be informed that my number and your name had been sent to pretty much every loan company under their ‘umbrella’ company.

So, here we are 4 years later. I generally get another text message addressed to you about once every couple of months. I got one today that had your full name in it from Capita.¬†The temptation to look you up online so I can send you instructions on how to fill in your phone number correctly is there. Being of sound mind, I won’t actually do this, as these is a possibility that this was a genuine mistake on your part.

Still. I’ve been putting up with short term loan offers for you for 4 years now. If any of them do actually manage to get through to you, I’d advise against taking them as the interest rates are *horrible*.

To sign off –¬†if you’re going to fake number a loan comparison site, just bear in mind that it’s not victimless. If it was a genuine mistake, I suggest you learn to double check your details before clicking the ‘submit’ button.

Not sincerely (since I doubt you’re even aware of how much you have inconvenienced me),

Little Wicksy.

Fallout 4: On the Moove.

Yup, another Fallout 4 post. Guess what I’m spending my free time on?

So, I’ve been wandering around Sanctuary a lot, as I have made it my main base of operations. Trashcan Carla (a vendor) occasionally comes to visit, with her pack brahmin. For those not in the know, brahmin are basically 2 headed cows. They moo a lot.

Fast forward some gameplay, and Trashcan Carla has wandered off elsewhere. But I can still hear the incessant mooing of a brahmin. It was doing my head in, so I spent about 10 minutes trying to find the thing so I could just get rid of it.

Here’s a question – in these games, how often do you look up?

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It failed to jump over the moon.

That would be a pack brahmin on the roof of the workshop in Sanctuary. I love bugs like these. I didn’t have the heart to kill it. It’s still there on subsequent reloads. I am now accustomed to the incessant mooing in Sanctuary. I would miss it if it wasn’t there.