Month: January 2016

Sewing is hard.

Sewing is one of those skills that I’ve never really been great at.

To get around this, I use a sewing machine for basic repairs. It takes longer to set the machine up than it does to actually repair the garment. I decided today to just be brave and attempt sewing the old fashioned way.

3 needle pricks later, and a very un-straight stitch, and I have come to remember why I usually use the sewing machine.

Ow.

Things I’ve done in Fallout 4

Following the main story is for wimps. Here is what I’ve been up to since I started playing yesterday:

  • Started making settlements. Everywhere I can.
  • Using said settlements, I have started my purified water empire.
  • Cooking all the things.
  • I found a legendary rolling pin off a legendary enemy. This is now being upgraded and will be my main melee weapon.
  • I upset Codsworth a lot by feeding up the granny with loads of drugs.

Main story line? What main story line? I’m level 10, and I’ve only advanced it so far as arriving at Diamond City. So long, life!

Some thoughts on the disgraceful events of New Years Eve.

A bit of a more serious post here, I’m afraid. Typically, I avoid commenting on topics like this, as that’s not really the tone I want to set for something I’d like to keep for the most part lighthearted. Sometimes, though, I feel so strongly about something that I just need to get it typed out.

I’ve been following the news this week about the New Year Sex attacks across Europe. Whilst the attacks in Cologne are currently the most widely reported, there are reports of similar happening in different cities throughout Europe.

Just reading some of the accounts from some of the victims is terrifying. Women going about their business were subjected to unprecedented sexual abuse. The police, whilst present, were of such small numbers that they were rendered impotent to do much about it as it happened right in front of them. Men who were out with their daughters and wives/girlfriends were powerless against a horde of barbaric arseholes who seem to think of women as little more than chattel for their own perverted amusement.

I don’t even know how I’d react if faced with a similar situation. It’s just flat out unthinkable that events like this can even happen in what are supposed to be civilised areas of the world.

The reporting on this has been slow, for flat out politically correct reasons, with an undertone of attempting to avoid a backlash. It took 5 days for these events to reach headline news, which is pretty appalling. The usual apologists are crawling out of the woodwork to engage in victim blaming, which is downright crazy in these circumstances.

I guess when it comes down to the threat of being called a xenophobe, people would rather stick their fingers into their ears and start shouting ‘I can’t hear you!’.

This attitude will not fix anything. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away.

Should we provide asylum to those in need? Yes.

Should women be able to go about their business without fear of being assaulted? Hell yes.

I don’t know what the answer to the whole thing will be. It won’t be an easy one, for sure. But attempting to ignore the fact that the rights and freedoms of women are being overlooked – and even eroded, given the calls for women to alter their behaviour in response to these events (only travel in large groups, stay at arms length from men) – in order to be politically correct about a migration crisis is not going to end well.

For the sake of political correctness, women – and the large majority of migrants who are very likely not engaging in these barbaric displays – are being completely let down by a system that increasingly discourages upholding the laws of the land, or even speaking out, for fear of being branded a racist. I hope that the perpetrators of the events on New Years Eve are held accountable for their actions. Given the current reaction though, I’m not holding my breath.

Christmas Shopping – Done!

Ok, not quite. But for the first time in a few years, I remembered to stock up on all the wrapping paper, cards, etc while it’s all going at clearance prices. Which seems to be approximately 75% off the original price.

I’m currently feeling smugly adult about this.

In the meantime, I am writing this whilst eating a large pack of Revels, because I like chocolate and I’ve been behaving myself all week since I’m trying to lose my belly after the Christmas fun. Yup, I’m rebelling against myself. Oops. This, I feel less smug about. But, chocolate, so I’m happy anyway. 😀

The problem with the arcade

On New Years day, I was with the bloke and his girls at the seaside. We ended up in the arcade, and fed them 2 pence pieces for some of the machines. We had fun, and the girls managed to win some toy dinosaurs to add to their collection.

One thing that disappointed me, however, is just how blatantly *fixed* some of the games are in these places still.

Now, I know that there has always been a level of fixing in arcades. But one thing I do remember is when I was younger – we’d go on holiday to Skegness, and my older sister and I would spend hours on the ‘grabby machines’. These are the machine where you have a claw that you can control with a joy stick, and you attempt to pick up the toys inside. It’s a game of slight skill.

My sister and I were good at it. We used to return to the holiday chalet or caravan absolutely loaded with cuddly toys. It was great!

Sadly, this golden age of grabby machine was short lived. A few years after that, we stopped playing when the claw would grab your prize, rise up, and slightly loosen its grip to drop the toy before it had even given it to you. I suspect that the parameters of the machine only keep the grip closed about once in every thousand goes.

I was explaining this to one of the blokes daughters when she desperately wanted a go of one of the grabby machines that was populated with Minion cuddly toys. To demonstrate the problem to her, we hung around and watched someone else play it, so she could see the ‘fix’ in action. As soon as she saw the guy successfully grab a minion 5 times in a row, only for it to be released as soon as the claw raised, she was no longer interested in playing.

I guess that’s the point of this post. Even small children don’t want to get ripped off. Whilst a level of game fixing is to be expected, some of the machines take it too far. I stopped playing grabby machines years ago for this reason. As did my sister. And even a 9 year old has now been put off playing them.

I’d much prefer to pay more to play the game and actually feel I have a fair chance of winning the prize, than to watch time and again as I ‘win’ without actually getting my prize.

I doubt the arcade industry will change this behaviour. It’s obviously working for them, but if a 9 year old with little concept of the value of money can see the blatant scam, then you’re probably being a bit too obvious about the whole thing.

The Librarians

Over the holidays, I got into watching a series on the Syfy channel at my Dads house. It hooked me pretty much immediately. The internet tells me that this is a successor of sorts to that other series, Warehouse 13. Which is a series that has been on my to watch pile for a while.

It follows a group of Librarians who are charged with retrieving and protecting magical artifacts throughout the world. The series kicks off with the actual library getting lost in space and time, so whilst the actual librarian is off out trying to find a way to bring it back, the trainee librarians and their guardian are in charge of protecting the world from uncontrolled magic. The episodes stand very well alone, and are eventually tied together into an overall story.

It’s cheesy, and it’s fun. More importantly, the entire first season is on Amazon Video for £2.99. I’m unsure if this is a mistake on the part of Amazon, as they also sell the individual episodes of season 1 for £2.99 each. Not that I’m complaining, of course. Sadly, similar has not happened yet to season 2. Still, at that price, you’d be mad to not check out Season 1. A short google has also told me that season 3 is also in the works, so it’s good to know that I haven’t gotten emotionally invested into something that will do a Firefly on me.

My Nephew the Ninja

For the first part of the just gone holidays, I was visiting my family.

This is when I realised that my 3 year old nephew is actually a Ninja.

I was upstairs when my sister arrived with my niece and nephew. My father was in the kitchen, finishing off the cooking part of dinner.

I came downstairs, and wondered where my nephew was. My sister and niece were in the front room. I wandered into the living room, and saw nothing. I asked where nephew had gone, as I knew at this point that he was not upstairs, in the kitchen, or front room.

My sister and I wandered into the living room. I checked under tables, behind curtains, and there was no sign. After about a minute of my sister looking more worried, we saw a cushion on the settee move.

Nephew had opted to run in and immediately hide under all the large cushions. If he hadn’t moved, we would not have had a clue.

It was pretty awesome. He will be a fine ninja one day! And I could learn a thing or two from him about hide and seek. He’s going to be a master. I’d feel sorry for my sister if I wasn’t so amused.

5 ways I was woken up early over the holidays.

I like my sleep. The blokes children assure me that sleep is boring, and holidays are certainly *not* the time to be sleeping.

So – here are the ways I was informed I could not have a lie in over the holidays:

  1. Small children jumping on me. Ow.
  2. Small children whispering in the doorway about who is going to wake me up versus who is going to wake up Daddy.
  3. “I’m hungry!”
  4. Dustbin truck outside, throwing all the glass bottles in with a satisfying crash. At 6am.
  5. “Can we play with the ponies now?”

I need a holiday.

Happy New Year!

Yes, this is a day late. I’ve been busy.

Normal blogging schedule will be resuming! I hope all my readers enjoyed their holidays.

I have made no new years resolutions, mainly because I hate to set myself up to fail with some random achievable goal. That said, I will be getting back on my exercise wagon for the new years, and making more of an attempt to get out of the ‘I’m supposed to have quit smoking’ blip I had over the holidays.

The holidays have been rather busy, but I have picked up plenty of blog fodder for the forseeable future. Which is nice!

To finish up – happy new year, everyone! May 2016 be awesome. 🙂