Friday, 6 November 2009

Who lives in a house like this?

4807591 Wait. I do. Though it’s a flat, as opposed to a house. You might recall when I showed off the pictures of my flat not long after I moved in and got sorted out. I thought now that @benjirino has moved in and I’ve almost been here a year, I’d show off some before and after pictures to show you how things are now. Above is the kitchen.


4810266 This is before, when it was very basic. It’s not changed much but has become a little messier, and then tidy, and now should remain at a standard of tidiness. Now let’s see today:

IMG_0286It’s still a little messy, but it is in my nature. The sofa that was in the living room is now in there, as is a TV previously in the living room. Posters are now up too, to make it seem more like an actual room. I think it’s quite an improvement. Also out of shot, my clothes are a lot more sorted.


The previous kitchen shot is at the top of the page, so then let’s see today’s:

IMG_0287Not a big change on the surface, but plates and things are a lot more decluttered now in the cupboards. To be fair, I already had the main things like a dishwasher, washing machine etc. but Benji did get a much needed microwave a few months ago.

Bathroom4806310Very boringly basic before. A small stack of Penny Arcade books in the corner, and not really many other defining features. So now, how does it look?

IMG_0288 Many new things in here! Coffee table for the Penny Arcade books, which are now accompanied by copies of Nintendo magazine, Lost magazine and Powerslam. There’s now a large mirror and even *gasp* a shower now, as you can see the rail just at the top. There’s also two washing baskets in here, one being Benji’s. This room has probably changed the most besides the living room.

Living Room

I didn’t actually show off the living room last time, but instead have two photos.

IMG_0290 Yes, we have two TVs before you state this, being geeks it’s required. Can’t be playing Kingdom Hearts and hogging all the TV, so having two makes sense. There’s a fireplace behind that airer, but I’ve only switched it on three times since I’ve been here. Now on the other side:

IMG_0289 Yep, two sofas too, and two bookcases, though you can’t see mine too well.

Shan’t show off Benji’s room as I don’t think he’d want me to post it on here without prior knowledge. But, that’s where I live. Looks much better now than it once did.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


mask2What a way to start a story about bonfire night, with a picture of Jim Carey as The Mask. Man, my blog is awesome. :)

219269xl So perhaps you celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night, to go with the tradition of celebrating the downfall of the infamous gunpowder plot. If you don’t, the basic tradition is to launch fireworks and have a bonfire like the one above, whilst eating unhealthy foods like hot dogs and burgers.

My family often celebrated this, until we all got a bit too old, but are doing it tonight for my little brother’s girlfriend as she’s not ever had a fireworks display before. I am alas working, but I don’t mind.

splode Anyways, if you’d like to cast your mind back a few years, when I was 16 I think. I had just been out with a few friends and was ludicrously chilled out, and it slipped my mind that it was actually bonfire night.

I got back home and the festivities were about to begin, and the grandparents arrived, as did the next door neighbours I think. I was happily rocking about and enjoying things, when I was pulled aside and entered in to a conversation I didn’t think I’d ever have. I’m obviously paraphrasing, so if my mother comments, she might recall the situation better than I.

Mum: “Joe, are you stoned?”

stoned I was quite taken aback by this, as previously mentioned, no drugs ever. I’ve never even had a cigarette.

Me: “No…why?”
Mum: “Yes you are. Don’t do it again when you know Gran and Grandpa are going to be here.”

Now, I understand that most folk think I look constantly stoned and worry what I would actually be like if I were stoned, as I’m laid back enough as it is, but to think that I actually was?

I don’t think I was spoken to for much of the rest of the evening, having somehow let people down by supposedly doing something which I’ve never really even entertained the idea of doing.

Yeah, that was certainly a fun conversation, in which I seemed like the bad guy without even realizing it.

I was also accused a few months later of leaving discarded cigarette packets in the garden, but I’m sure that was really my youngest brother starting smoking back then.

That’s my super fun bonfire night memory, anyone else got any good ones?

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Remember Novémbré

2822667304_a8d1a3a593_oI’ve had a busy, but fun past two weeks, so didn’t prep a “monthly look ahead” post as I usually do, so it’s being posted now instead.

Sketchy on the details3782499419_e661e6b4c1 I’m going to try and keep at a steady pace with my drawing once again, and try as hard as I can to get the comic started before the end of the year.

Job Huntingian-smith-old-cv-page-1I often get fed up with my job, and I know it could be a lot worse, but it could also be a lot better, so I’m going to see what else is on offer out there this month.

Brains!brain-1 I’m going back to the hospital on the 20th of this month, to see if they can tell me any more about my seemingly mysterious neurological problems. I am hoping that they stick me with some medication, or run some more tests. Anything else than “meh. You seem fine.”

Unfortunately that’s all I can think of for this month, well, as long as I’m happy right? And I’m currently very happy and often ecstatic. :)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately…


Well, in truth they are more peculiar dreams. I have been mentioning them on Twitter, but I’d rather go for a full blown explanation on here of the past few in reverse date order (so most recent one first).

A new ace attorneyhoney-monster1 In this dream, I was in a courtroom over some trivial matter, and had a strange defence lawyer. It was the honey monster from the Sugar Puffs adverts. He was dressed rather plainly in a suit, parading about the courtroom and defending me and appeared to be winning the case. No-one reacted to it, and the judge passed it off as normal and I ended up being found not guilty for whatever it was I had done.

RAW’s scary guest hostmarshWWE RAW has a thing of having a guest host each week at the moment, and in my dream, the next guest host had been announced as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and I started off watching next week’s show in the dream, enough to see the marshmallowy giant walk out in to the ring, only to realise he couldn’t get in it.

What an interesting revolutionlegopeeps In this next dream, I was watching TV and a newswoman was recapping the recent overthrow of the US President, Barack Obama, claiming he had been replaced by a sentient LEGO person, and that now we know they had been secretly living within society and waiting for their time to rise and had chosen now to do it, and then we cut to a speech from the new president, and I changed channels.

Not as stealthy as they once wereborrowers_jim3For this one, being the one from last night, I had a tool shed in a long garden and had gone there to do some work when I noticed some people that resembled The Borrowers sneaking around the plant pots and stuff. I had a quick conversation with them, telling them I already knew they were here and didn’t mind. They spoke of getting ready for Christmas and I informed them to borrow what they like, just stay out of sight of others besides myself, and then wandered back out to the garden leaving them to their own devices.


Just for the record, I have never taken any illegal drugs, not on any medication or anything like that, these are just my regular dreams from my subconscious.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Blinkered Season Two – Fire Retarded Review

blinkeredlogoSeason Two of Blinkered started recently on NudiaTV and as I reviewed season one before as a whole I decided to do this season as an episode by episode basis, so here’s the first episode review, named “Fire Retarded”.

Characters/CastfrazzleAside from the new female character that I noted on the season two preview that I did, Frazzle has his own spot in the introductions now, and we’re a character down with Jimbo’s chubby friend having been taken off (presumably due to him leaving for storyline reasons along with Lance Volcano, a guest character last season). Character development remains strong, and doesn’t focus too much on the new character as a show might.

Brandon Carr (Richard Pohl) remains the funniest cast member still, with his odd quirks.

I also noted that the courier seen in this episode is related to the newest cast member Wendy Joelseph (Lauren Knust) and filmed alongside Joel Henderson.


meetingThe rarely seen meeting room gets used in this episode to show off Big Al, though he is not in the episode apart from this appearance.

I’m not sure how many different sets you can really have in an office, so I feel this segment should actually be replaced. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Comedycourier One of the funniest moments for me in this episode, was when the usual “pick on Jimbo” part was going on and he was informed he had a courier. Then we flash to Dennis who says “I love how I can confuse Jimbo by using a word with more than five letters…” Then starts to count them aloud. This was made even more funny to me when @comeuppence mentioned to me on Twitter that it wasn’t even intentional.

Parts about the GPS post-it notes also raised a few chuckles, as did Big Al’s video. Jimbo bashing remains funny too, with tweeting “Jimbo is gay”.

Soundtrackgayoilrubbing Aside from a little singing from Brandon Carr (who is in a band by the way who happen to do the intro music, which as much as I slated it, has now grown on me) there’s not a whole bunch of music, which would have been nice to dub over the outside shot scenes or perhaps in the background of Big Al’s video.

There was quite a catchy tune after the bloopers however.

Plotrds This episode may have revealed the name of the office/company at which they work, probably not significant or interesting to anyone else, but it’s been bugging me since season one. Dennis looks through a file labelled “RDS” when looking for a “Jimberly Holton”.

Seeing Wendy being nice to Brian/Jimbo was a bit strange (not for the character, but because I’m used to seeing the whole office pick on Jimbo), but I’d like to see where that goes. But then he finally reaches breaking point and snaps. I expected him to quit, but it all turns out to be part of a joke, which he then takes rather well.

Closing Comment
An average episode overall but a nice start to the new series…let’s see how it all goes from here.

Characters/Cast: 6/10
Sets: 6/10
Comedy: 7/10
Soundtrack: 6/10
Plot: 6.7/10


  • 0 – 19% Unwatchable - why the hell did I even watch this?
  • 20 – 49% Poor – Certain elements of the show hold it back
  • 50 – 69% Average – More good than bad, but you might need to be a fan to really get in to it.
  • 70 – 84% Good – This is what you’ll be talking about with people in the office the next day.
  • 85 – 89% Excellent – This is what you’ll be talking about for the next month.
  • 90 – 100% Fucking Excellent – This is the best TV show ever, therefore going by Josh Whedon logic, it will soon be cancelled.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Parapraxis is hilarious

tonguedgirlBetter known as a Freudian slip, or slip of the tongue is when you say something that you thought etc. but didn’t mean to vocalise. I guess the story I’m actually telling is about a slip of the mind (but in a similar sense to a slip of the tongue, rather than another phrase for forgetfulness) but it remains funny nonetheless.

Firstly, you need some back story to fully understand this. My youngest brother’s girlfriend had a large fall out with her parents who weren’t exactly nice, or the most attentive or aware of parents (She’s never had fireworks on November 5th, and got a £3 t-shirt and a sandwich for Christmas gifts and Christmas dinner) so she decided to move in with our family and now my parents are her guardians and she’s not had much contact with them.

However, they did recently apologize for some things that they’d done, and as she noted "They made up just in time for me to get them Christmas presents” but I was told of a phone call she made recently that got them not talking to her again. Her actions below:

610x *looking through phone to ring my mother*
Finds the ‘Mum’ contact to ring, and calls her
Her actual mother answers, as she’s the “Mum” contact
”Hey, is Pete there?”
”No. Why would Pete be here?”
”Oh, er never mind. Bye”

Yes, she called her actual mother when she went to call my parents. So I guess her parents aren’t speaking to her again. Oh well, no big loss there.

Also, this is my 100th post of 2009. Woop!

Thursday, 22 October 2009


3638235897_561e89a9ec This is the family’s cat, Ruby, who recently had kittens, and I thought I’d show them off here. That’s the entire post for today I’m afraid folks.

IMG_0263 IMG_0264

IMG_0266 IMG_0265  Aw, kitties…obviously click the images for bigger versions.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Review - DS

days Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is a DS RPG telling the story of Sora’s Nobody and Keyblade wielder, Roxas spending his time within a strong group of Nobodies who call themselves The Organization (often nicknamed Organization XIII) who have the intention of completing Kingdom Hearts to become real people once again, and fills in gaps during the GBA adventure Kingdom Hearts: Chain Of Memories as well as adding in multiplayer missions.

I previously blogged a few spoilers about the story here so if you just want to leap straight in to my pre-playing thoughts check that out.

StoryxionroxasaxelThe game starts from Roxas’ seventh day within The Organization and a new character, named Xion (pronounced She-On) who can also wield a Keyblade and collect hearts by defeating Heartless. There are some great unexpected twists within the story, though I was disappointed that the group who went to Castle Oblivion (the world played in Chain of Memories) are slain early on eliminating story missions alongside them.

Gameplaykingdom-hearts-358-2-days-13 This is the first game of the Kingdom Hearts series to feature multiplayer and has a mission mode system for playing with friends. Alas, as none of my friends play Kingdom Hearts I haven’t been able to capitalize on this aspect of it. The main mode is the Story Mode where Saïx hands out varying missions to aid The Organization. Gameplay on this feels very much like Kingdom Hearts II, with the exception that you have a specific goal in mind when visiting each world. New types of Heartless appear to challenge you, and some such as the Dustflier are a real challenge.

Also introduced is the Panel System, which determines what you take with you on each mission, and what weapon and magic you carry. By gaining experience, your levels also fit on here too. You can find various Gears for your weapon to add on to your panels and then store these panels to use in multiplayer to give you an edge. Once you find a system that works, there’s little point in messing with it, until you gain a better Gear.

Graphicskingdom-hearts-358-2-days-ds-screenshot The graphics are okay for a DS, but in a similar fashion to how the cutscenes stunned me on the GBA for Chain of Memories, I am floored by how great it looks when we’re getting over forty minutes of beautifully detailed cutscenes, though after the start of the game, there’s a large gap before you see any more.

SoundtrackKH2_Intro_High_NamineUnfortunately, this game heavily borrows from previous Kingdom Hearts titles for it’s music, only having a few original songs for new characters and the like, so it gets knocked down here.

Replayability XionWhilst playing through Story Mode again would be a waste (unless you gain extra achievements for finishing on Proud Mode) Mission Mode allows you to attempt previous missions and try to completely fill the mission gauge to gain all the extra things but unless you are a fan of the series you probably won’t want to 100% complete it.

Story: 7/10
Gameplay: 6/10
Graphics: 6.5/10
Soundtrack: 4.5/10
Replayability: 5/10


  • 0 – 19% Unplayable - why the hell did I even buy this?
  • 20 – 49% Poor – Certain elements of the game hold it back
  • 50 – 69% Average – More good than bad, but you might need to be a fan to really get in to it.
  • 70 – 84% Good – A nice franchise or single game, that just misses out on being great because of a few flaws.
  • 85 – 89% Excellent – You could play this for ages and be happy
  • 90 – 100% Fucking Excellent – You should have this game and play it every single day.

Want me to review a game? Comment and let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Friday, 16 October 2009


1254080542922 I’m sure a lot of you are aware that I play Pokémon games as I go by the name of “PkmnTrainerJ” all over the internet. You can say “it’s for kids” and all the stuff I’ve heard many times before, but I don’t mind. It’s still an enjoyable RPG and like most RPG’s it makes me want to 100% the game.

In case you’ve never played a Pokémon game before, the basics are that you raise a team of monsters, beat a varying amount of tough trainers (gym leaders) and then move on to tougher challenges (known as the Elite Four and occasionally a Battle Frontier) and your team of Pokémon gains levels, get new abilities and evolve and so forth.

1231107008577lw62 However, there’s also something called the Pokédex which will fill up once you capture Pokémon, and as the amount of Pokémon available leaps up each generation, filling it becomes a little more difficult each time as it went from 151 (first few games) to 493 (current) but I try and fill it each game by legitimate purposes, rather than buying a gameshark or similar device and simply cheating.

This does mean that I’ve had to go to events for it, and other things such as downloading special things via wi-fi, but it’s all worth it. I love when I go to events and meet fans, especially those that I know off forums or social networking sites and it’s fun to actually explore the whole area of the game when it gets unlocked by these events. For your information, my Pokédex’s stand at:

  • Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow – 151/151 (I had to exploit a small glitch in order to catch Mew)
  • Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal – 250/251 (For everywhere except Japan it was impossible to obtain Celebi, due to an item never being released anywhere else)
  • Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/FireRed/LeafGreen – 386/386 (This generation was relatively easy, Deoxys from an item, Jirachi from another game, Celebi from a friend who attended an event in America, all legendary birds from an event in the UK and various others picked up at events. I also encountered my first shiny this generation with a green-coloured Mewtwo)
  • Pokémon Pearl/Diamond/Platinum – 492/493 (This generation bought WiFi with it making things a lot easier, but the final Pokémon, Arceus, has yet to be released to the UK)

So, yes. I love completing the Pokédex. I apologise for all the colours too.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Book smarts

Geoff_Taylor_Pawn_of_Prophecy_full_v2I have always considered myself an avid reader who blasts through, even back to when I was reading decent young books (read; NOT vampire angsty type books) such as Goosebumps and Animorphs and I was later introduced to what fast became my favourite series of books, and as the author died a few months back I thought it would be appropriate to discuss them.

The series is referred to as “The Belgariad” and is a great story about a young boy (Garion) who starts off an a journey to recover a mythical item, known as The Orb of Aldur to stop an evil god.

As generic as the plot sounds, the first book of this series was written almost 20 years ago, so many people that have written similar things since may have taken inspiration from it.

The characters within are very rich, as are the descriptions of the locations and people, and there are many turns along the way and some suprises such as there being something more special about the one boy who can touch the Orb without being burned. Many religious themes run though this as there’s multiple gods for multiple races of people and even gods that interact with characters like Belgarath.

This series served to introduce me to the fantasy genre which I now so love and has helped me get in to games such as Final Fantasy and even Pokémon to an extent, to which I do love.

I do hope to someday write something that is as good as the series, or even any of David Eddings works but that’s quite the pipe dream.

If it weren’t for reading the books, I doubt I’d be able to blast through 800-page plus books as quickly as I do these days and I wouldn’t have even glanced upon Terry Pratchett’s books.

If you want to know more about the books (I’ve attempted to avoid spoilers in case you haven’t read them) then start here with Pawn Of Prophecy and hopefully you’ll enjoy the books as much as I do.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

This is the story of my old man


This is the story of my old man, like his father before him (probably, don’t know much about his family).

I realise I’ve mentioned my parents divorce before now, as well as my father a sample of times. When I usually speak of my dad now, I mean my mother’s fiancé and the man that I should really call my stepfather, but refer to by his first name. However, that’s only been the case since I was 15/16, and long before that back in my childhood it wasn’t so great.

Young_Jack_Shephard People often ask me about my biological father, and my response usually is that he was a bastard. If there’s ever any follow up questions I respond with a rough count of how many times he broke my mother’s nose, or pushed her down the stairs when she was pregnant. After that people clam up.

When I was younger, my house was not a quiet place as you’d expect with four siblings, a drunk for a father and various other things. My father left the house “forever” (which I took to mean for a few days/hours in his head) more times during my youth than I can count, regularly threw insults and fists at anyone who’d look at him wrongly and arguments between my parents could go on for days and weeks.

There were times where he could be an okay parent, but I think he always felt let down that his first son had turned out to be a geek, as opposed to a manly man who was in to sports etc. It didn’t go well as the next son entered in to the fold of cooking (a subject my father had minimal knowledge of), the next one was a geek too but then finally the final son did have an interest in sports and all that stuff, and he seemed overjoyed and willing to neglect the others to lavish attention on the son he saw as a younger, less balding version of himself.

This isn’t to say that brother of mine didn’t also receive regular beatings from my father as did the rest of us. Everyone was equal in that regard.

We sometimes went to his mother’s house and I do have some fond memories of that (playing with LEGO, eating broken biscuits) and some not so good (crashing through their glass door to the garden) and I learned that she had been informed of the abuse that was administered to the rest of the family by my father, but chose to shrug it off and ignore it, which simply isn’t right in it’s own way.

2x20_FateInActionEventually, and thankfully my father left for good (after what I remember being most of the kitchen smashed to pieces and being told to go to the neighbours house whilst the police were called) and moved on to another woman (though I would not know this for several years).

He told us he’d moved far away (down south somewhere) but this fallacy didn’t last long as I soon spotted him in town and others mentioned spotting him with the aforementioned woman, as well as a pushchair avec le baby at points.

I must admit it was comical that we saw him after boarding a bus and got the driver to hold it for us whilst my mother spoke with him and made him feel so guilty (about not paying anything towards his kids etc., we got £1 off him for child support each every month I think…) that he slinked away with his head hung low and wouldn’t even speak a word to me. Oh how funny it was.

He still came to visit the family, somehow forgetting or pushing aside all he had previously done. He’d try and integrate himself back in to our lives, seemingly missing what he had done his best to cock up. Initially I did think about forgiving him, but for all the bad shit he’d done, I soon realised that forgiving him would be useless and any apology he offered would be fleeting. I’d still receive Christmas money and birthday cards, until one day I was just so angry and fed up with him.

Christian_JackIt was my birthday a few years back and he’d sent me a text wishing me happy birthday and the like, and I responded by sending him one telling him to stay out of my life for good and launched quite a tirade of words at him.

Since that I’ve heard nothing from him, one of my brother’s still keeps in regular contact with him to the point that he’s been to his house a few times (I still have no idea where he lives and don’t care to know) and everyone still gets birthday cards and Christmas money from him. I don’t and I am so fucking glad for every day that I have that man out of my life.

I even go under a different name these days to new people in order to further distance myself from him (as my middle name and last name used to make up his name) as much as the rest of the family may think I did it for other reasons, that’s why I decided to do it.

I really fucking hate him, and he’s the only person I’ve known personally wherein I wouldn’t care if they died.

Look at how I have to communicate my thoughts via Lost. I just thought it was a nice parallel actually.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Podcast Mention #5


Not me this time! My friend @benjirino was mentioned for rising from his grave in this episode of 2P START LIVE!.

2P START! is a great video games web comic which updates every week, and has a weekly podcast which might actually be funnier than the comic. Give ‘em both a try.

Thursday, 1 October 2009



So in case you haven’t been reading my blog for long, I like to blog about what I’ll be doing for the month on the first day of the month, just so you might get an insight in to what I’ll blog about.


BigAlConfessionalSo you’re probably fed up of me hammering on about Blinkered now, but I’ll be doing episodic reviews and thoughts as they air on Nudia.

Archeryarchery I’ve been thinking about this for a time, and now I’ve found a place to actually practice and a shooting club to maybe join, I’ll get practicing and get behind it.

FlashForwardflashforward1FlashForward is a new ABC show that recently started here and I’ll be cranking out my thoughts on the show that may eventually replace Lost when it’s finished.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 DaysNTR_YKGP_UKV.inddAccording to my site statistics, plenty of people come here and read the posts I’ve made on Kingdom Hearts, so a review of the DS game will be a necessity I feel. I am looking forward to it, though I know a lot of stuff about it already.

Podcast?6a00d83451d01069e200e550064f7f8834-640wiI’ve also been mulling on doing a podcast on TV shows. If you’d like to discuss this with me, please do leave a comment and let me know.

That’s just a brief look, I’m not sure what else will come up this month, but it will be blogged about.