Worst Adventuring Parties EVER Thursday, Nov 26 2015 


Gandalf and Thorin

Fellowship 2

Uncle Balin was right, you can’t put a balanced party together.

Shut up Gimli.

A wizard, an elf fighter, a dwarf fighter, two human fighters…

I’m a ranger

…one of whom speaks ‘Bunny’

and four level 0 halflings.  At least Bilbo levelled up to a Thief.

I’ve got 3 skill points in Cooking.

And again, not one bloody cleric or healer.

And anyway, it’s “Speak to Stoat” actually.

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I High-Fived a vicar Sunday, May 17 2015 


Highlight of the weekend – it’s not something you do very often.

I ran a quiz for the local church last night. Although the building is 13th century, very traditional Church Of England, the vicar is from Florida You have to feel sorry for him at things like this. He always gives his full support even though he is often lost and bewildered, and I have heard he has problems at these Anglo-centric quizzes. So I wrote a round specifically for him.  (I say specifically, the questions were general enough for people to know.)

Question 3
In January 1861, Florida declared its secession from the Union and became a founding member of the Confederate States. However, in what previous decade had it joined the United States? It wasn’t a founding member.

He had to think hard, but he got correct answer – I’ve never seen anyone so excited when quiz answers are given!  OBVIOUSLY I had to High-five him.

Stormtrooper name generator Sunday, Apr 5 2015 


For all your Star Wars games

Copy and Paste the following into Excel

=MID(“QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM”,RANDBETWEEN(1,26),1)&MID(“QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM”,RANDBETWEEN(1,26),1)&RANDBETWEEN(100,999)

For greater realism change the font.

Top Gear sorry for Waterloo station Saturday, Oct 11 2014 


The BBC have today apologised for a scene where Jeremy Clarkson is seen driving past Waterloo Station. The French Embassy lambasted Top Gear for insensitively reminding everyone that it took a British General to stop a crazed meglomaniac from taking over Europe.

BBC spokeswoman, Ebola McBlamehound, said “It is obviously unfeeling for the BBC not to do everything in its power to change the name of the Station.

Another Poem for my Wife Tuesday, Mar 11 2014 


It was suggested to me recently I haven’t written a poem in a while. I took the hint. Not sure it’s what she expected, though.

Everywhere on Earth
There are things that come in twos
Coz no one likes the rhythm
Without listening to the blues.

(more…)

How to undermine a successful Ad campaign Sunday, Jan 19 2014 


Many years ago Marmite broke all the rules of advertising.

They suggested that some people don’t like their product.

The world of advertising were incredulous (except, I assume, the agency that came up with this idea).  They thought the company was mad.

“Are you mad?” they said (see, told you). “You can’t suggest someone doesn’t like your product, you’ll put people off.”

However their PR men had spotted something.  Marmite – you either love it or you hate it, and this went on to form the basis of one of the most successful campaigns in British TV history.

Now obviously Marmite is the Devil’s smegma.  However my brother (aged 41 and 6 months) becomes inappropriately excited by Twiglets (which I maintain are real twigs, covered in tarmac, though the packet assures us they are Marmite covered breadsticks)- to wit, upon  finding we had had them for the Christmas Evening buffet had him running round like a 5 year old at a party.

My Dad’s response?

“I’m not really that keen on Marmite.”

NOT THAT KEEN.  NO ONE IS NEUTRAL ABOUT MARMITE. You can’t be ‘not that keen’.

Millions of pounds worth of advertising undermined in one sentence.

Chinese to fake ‘Fake Moon landing’ Sunday, Jan 19 2014 


Chinese space officials today admitted that they are sending real astronauts to the moon, as it is easier than faking a moon-landing convincingly.

“Modelling the low gravity on a sound stage is a huge problem,” one unnamed official admitted.  “We tried CGI, but the cost of the render-time was more than actually sending a ship there.”

Instead the actual landing will be preceded by 2 other spaceships, one carrying the 20 man production crew, and another containing a specially made Ikea flat pack sound stage – known as “fakr”- with all the pieces needed, including polystyrene ‘moon-rocks’.

NASA official Buzz Trellis said “We wish we’d done this.  No-one believes real footage- fake is always more convincing.”

A Complaint Letter to Haribo Tuesday, Nov 12 2013 


Sent by me today.

Dear Sir/Madam

It’s been quite stressful at work recently, so I and the two ladies I share an office with all chipped in last week for some comfort food, and Wendy and I took ourselves to the local store to stock up.

Among the items, Wendy selected a Haribo Mega-mix bag (yeah we’re a bunch of 40-somethings eating kids’ treat bags. Like I say, stressed). I must admit I had some reservations, as I am not a lover of the Gold-bear. However I realise that your jellies are formulated for a younger palate, not a middle aged man, and it was a ‘Mega-mix’ bag. As such the pack also tantalised with the promise of ‘Tang-fastics’, and I do like a sharp/sour sweet. We also bought chocolate chip cookies and bags of scampi fries and bacon fries. As you can see we were not planning to run our afternoon snacks past a doctor for their approval, but were intending to cheer our minds and taste buds (if not our arteries).

Upon opening the bag I sorted through for something I would like, and retrieved a packet of Tang-fastic. I say ‘a packet’; it would be more accurate to say ‘THE packet’. Yes, much to my disappointment, there was only one pack of this fizzy delight. And not just my disappointment, for it turned out Robbo also fancied a pack, and I had snagged the only one. I have thus upset my colleague, and she’s Australian, so not someone I wish to anger.

There were a few packets of what my colleague Wendy assures me are called ‘Star-mix’, but not many. Indeed, an unofficial audit between us (the bin has been emptied, so we can’t count the packs) suggests that of the 25 packs, at least 18 were Gold-bears. 72% (plus) of this gummy ursine seems rather excessive in something that represents itself as a ‘mega-mix’.

We therefore wish to register our disappointment, our distress even, at this oversight by your packing machine. I was so upset I had to have another packet of Bacon Fries.

Yours Faithfully
Ian, Wendy and Emma (aka Robbo)
Team 2
PS Robbo wishes to make it clear she is not yet a 40-something.

PPS Wendy says age is immaterial, as your slogan is “Kids and adults love it so, the happy world of Haribo.” We would add, “unless you like Tang-fastic or Star-mix, when you are in for a disappointment.”

Dr S-Who-se Thursday, Oct 25 2012 


I have a Cat in a Hat now.  Cats in Hats are cool.

I’m The Doctor, but don’t ask Who

Just meet my old girl, dressed in blue

You may find me a wily old fox

And not a madman in a box.

 

Travel through time, and travel through space

To anywhen, and anyplace.

From Big Bang to Big Crunch

To farthest star then back for lunch.

 

Remember, I never ever use a gun.

So when danger comes I’ll just shout RUN

I sonic open the strongest locks

But I am not a madman in a box

 

I’ll wear a scarf, or fez or suit

And piece of salad, or Converse boot.

Destroyer of Worlds, the Bringer of Darkness

The Oncoming Storm (All me, not Harkness)

 

You’ll see pits and quarries that all look the same

Monsters of ice, beasts of flame

There may be homicidal pepperpots

Who are scared of a madman in a box

 

Fixed points in time cannot be changed,

For reasons mad, weird or deranged,

There’s one more thing, now let me think,

Ah yes, you must never ever blink.

 

So as I travel through time and space

With Sarah-Jane, the Ponds and Ace,

Through the thrills, the spills and shocks,

I most definitely am a madman in a box!

Olympic abbreviations in full Wednesday, Aug 8 2012 


Times/Distances
WR – World Record
OR – Olympic Record
PB – Personal Best
SB – Season’s Best
MSLH – Mum Still Loves Him
PBD – Plucky But Doomed
LFYW – Last Four Years Wasted
JPE – Just Plain Embarrassing

Athlete Specific
CYNHO – Country You’ve Never Heard Of
NRSIAW – No, Really, She Is A Woman
MBOD – Must Be On Drugs
AICIDWG – Amnesty International Case If Doesn’t Win Gold
(NB, this was introduced in 1989, following the removal of GOG – Gold Or Gulag)

Event Specific
Beach Volleyball – Women
NA – Nice Arse
BOC – Bit Of Cellulite

Basketball
FT – Freakishly Tall

Diving – Men
PFMAW – Porn for Middle Aged Women.

If you ‘know’ any more, please add!

Man Rules Thursday, Apr 5 2012 


A collegue emailed me this.  I said to her “Did this really need to be written down? Really, like it isn’t obvious?”

 “At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down   

The rules

These are our rules!

Please note… these are all numbered “1 “ON PURPOSE!

1          Men are NOT mind readers.

1          Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl.  

If it’s up, put it down.

We need it up; you need it down.

You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.  

1.         Sports on TV:  

It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides.

Let it be.  

1          Crying is blackmail

1.         Ask for what you want.

Let us be clear on this one:

Subtle hints do not work!

Strong hints do not work!

Obvious hints do not work!

Just say it!  

1.         Yes or No is a perfectly acceptable answer to almost every question.  

1.         Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do.

Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.  

1.         Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.

In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.  

1.         If you think you’re fat, you probably are.

Don’t ask us.  

1.         If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one  

1.         You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done.

Not both.

If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.  

1.         Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say “during commercials”…  

1.         Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.  

1.         ALL men see in only 16 colours, like a Windows default settings.

Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a colour.  

Pumpkin is also a fruit.

We have no idea what mauve is.  

1.         If it itches, it will be scratched.

We do that…  

1.         If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” We will act like nothing’s wrong.

We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.  

1.         If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.  

1.         When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine…Really.  

1.         Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as football or motor sports.

1                    If when you ask us what we are thinking we say nothing, it means we are thinking of nothing.  This is perfectly possible.

1.         You have enough clothes.  

1.         You have too many shoes.  

1.         I am in shape. Round IS a shape!  

Thank you for reading this.

Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;

But did you know men really don’t mind that?  

It’s like camping.

How to seduce a writer. Friday, Mar 9 2012 


Good advice from Neil Gaiman.

In my experience, writers tend to be really good at the inside of their own heads and imaginary people, and a lot less good at the stuff going on outside, which means that quite often if you flirt with us we will completely fail to notice, leaving everybody involved slightly uncomfortable and more than slightly unlaid.

So I would suggest that any attempted seduction of a writer would probably go a great deal easier for all parties if you sent them a cheerful note saying “YOU ARE INVITED TO A SEDUCTION: Please come to dinner on Friday Night. Wear the kind of clothes you would like to be seduced in.”

And alcohol may help, too. Or kissing. Many writers figure out that they’re being seduced or flirted with if someone is actually kissing them.

http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/18932682858/as-requested-by-too-many-people-making-the-last-post

Especially for my Daughter-In-Law Sunday, Dec 4 2011 


zombie cheesus chocolate bunny 

zombie cheesus chocolate bunny

zombie cheesus chocolate bunny

How Men learn Tuesday, Nov 15 2011 


When Men are inexperienced with the female mind, Woman will ask “Should I wear this dress or that dress”, and the young Man will answer “That one.” Because she looks beautiful no matter what She wears. This is wrong, because Woman will then say “What’s wrong with this one. Don’t you like me in this one, are you saying it makes me look fat?”

As he ages He will learn the ways of a woman’s mind, and will confidently say “Which do you like?” This is wrong, because Woman will say “Why can’t you ever make a decision. Why don’t you take an interest in what I look like?”

Then as he grows older, Man becomes wily, and He answers “What shoes/jacket/bag are you going to be wearing/taking.” And this is the right answer, because She thinks He is showing interest.

After some years Woman begins to suspect. And then the Man becomes wise, and when She asks “Should I wear this dress or that dress” Man knows to say “You’ve worn both of those so many times. I will buy you a new dress. And shoes. And jacket.” And he may be poorer, but at least he gets a few months peace and quiet this way.

“LIFE- The MMRPG” A letter of Complaint. Friday, Nov 4 2011 


Sir,

I have been playing your ‘First Life’ game for some years now and I wish to register dissatisfaction with some of the so-called features.

1) Lack of manual/in-game help/tool tips.
I realise that you boast an ‘extensive training mission’. What you fail to mention is that this will take approximately 1/3 of the promised 75 year content. Additionally there is little guidance even during this so-called “Schooling period”, and the training is mostly trying stuff out then having other characters telling you are doing it wrong. Even experienced players would welcome tool tips during actions – for instance when reaching for your third alcoholic drink a warning bubble saying “May impare your judgement of interaction with opposite sex” would be helpful.

2) Lack of Save/Load function. 
Given the lack of in-game hints the lack of a Save Game function would appear to be a major omission.  When attempting an action, the failure of which would have negative consequence, it would handy if we could return to a point just before so we can avoid the effects of making a poor choice with no guidance too many times.  This would particularly useful during the ‘Teenage Romance’ sub game, for which there is no documentation.  Frankly all the Romance sub-games are difficult and confusing, and prone to leaving you frustrated.  The Rom-Com training package glosses over much of the difficulties.

3) Effects of other players. 
I note the IPCC Yahoo group has found a bug within the global interaction algorithms.  Apparently this could cause the game world to end prematurely based purely on the actions of other players on different servers.  Even if this is fixable, it is apparent that servers in Africa and Asia are suffering DDOS attacks by resource usage elsewhere.

4) Random Character generation.
Not only does this make it near impossible to achieve some tasks against some players who ‘got lucky’ during the generation process, but that In-Game Credits are not accessible to all, leaving some downloads unavailable to most people- for instance “Sports Car” and “Big House” are two that spring to mind.

5) Non Linear Game play.
“Do boring/repetitive task or starve” doesn’t really count as open-ended.

6) Experience Points
Referenced frequently by the ‘Job’ sub-games, but there is no onscreen count to let you know how you are doing.  Though they appear to be influenced by various tasks/games, there is no indication at the rate of accrual, so you can’t tell whether the amount of XP is worth it.  Additionally some of these sub-games appear to over- or under- award XP: For instance “Art History” and “Engineering” in the ‘University Zone’ often cost the same number of credits, but rumour on the Fan forums is they award different XP.  Is this true?

6a)  Rumour on the ‘Buddah’ Yahoo group is that there is a kind of XP called Karma.  Is this true as it is not referenced in any of the training/instructions?  They claim this allows a second character to be started.

7) End Game routines
I am approximately half way through.  According to more experienced players game experience dramatically reduces during the later stages, with your character becoming slower and less responsive.  It has also been found that the graphics and sound settings deteriorate making it hard to follow the action.  Did you know the ‘Hair’ colour setting can change spontaneously to ‘Grey’ and in male characters even ‘Flesh’?  Additionally there are a number of bugs which can cause parts of the programme to just stop working altogether.

8.) Power-ups/Health Packs
While it is clear that some servers receive too many ‘Weapon packs’, there is a distinct lack of power-ups.  I have repeatedly smashed any number of boxes, crates and other containers, and have yet to receive even one extra power.  Additionally there are no health packs being generated.  Did you mean these only to be available from players who have taken the “Doctor” quest?

I understand that in any product this ambitious there will always be a number of problems.  Do you have any plans to produce a patch we could download?

Yours Sincerely

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