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What happens when the wife takes you shopping too many times

Just received this via email. I’d like to try number 3. next time I’m at Tesco’s.

This letter was recently sent by Tesco’s Head Office to a customer in Oxford:

Dear Mrs. Murray,

While we thank you for your valued custom and use of the Tesco Loyalty Card, the Manager of our store in Banbury is considering banning you and your family from shopping with us, unless your husband stops his antics. Below is a list of offences over the past few months all verified by our surveillance cameras:

  1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people’s trolleys when they weren’t looking.
  2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
  3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to feminine products aisle.
  4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, “Code 3” in housewares….. and watched what happened.
  5. August 14: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted area.
  6. September 15: Set up a tent in the outdoor clothing department and told shoppers he’d invite them in if they would bring sausages and a Calor gas stove.
  7. September 23: When the Deputy Manager asked if she could help him, he began to cry and asked, “Why can’t you people just leave me alone?”
  8. October 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, picked his nose, and ate it.
  9. November 10: While appearing to be choosing kitchen knives in the Housewares aisle asked an assistant if he knew where the anti-depressants were.
  10. December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously, loudly humming the “Mission Impossible” theme.
  11. December 6: In the kitchenware aisle, practised the “Madonna look” using different size funnels.
  12. December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed, yelled “PICK ME!” “PICK ME!”
  13. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, assumed the fetal position and screamed “NO! NO! It’s those voices again.”

And; last, but not least:

  1. December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited a while; then yelled, very loudly, “There is no toilet paper in here.”

Yours sincerely,

Charles Brown


Ah this made me laugh:


From b3ta.

The Equalizer!

Whilst reading up on Lucky Number Slevin on IMDB I noticed that the director of said film, Paul McGuigan, is going to direct the film version of The Equalizer.

Yep, The Equalizer, the 80’s TV series starting Edward Woodward as a troubleshooter for hire, which incidentally has one of the greatest TV intro’s of all time:

This used to scare the shit out of me as a young un’ when I stayed up late to watch it. The music (written by Stewart Copeland, the curly haired drummer from The Police no less) set the tone perfectly and it still sounds damn cool now! It also has a feel of the original Terminator film to me.

Anyway, on my YouTube travels I also found this outtakes footage of the The Equalizer which has some great one liners in. Ah, the memories :).

Btw, gotta love the new “Insert YouTube Video…” option in BlogJet 2.0. Makes it so damn easy!

I suck at blogging (or do I?)

I’m almost as bad as RPG and Bal ¬_¬. Anyhoo, what has been the cause of the lack of blog chatter? Well, three things: Xbox, Work and Xbox.

Work has been been a bit of pain of late, not because of it being work, but because I’ve been fixing, installing and tinkering with various bits of software and hardware instead of programming. As I mentioned previously I was at work a week ago last Saturday rebuilding a replacement server for the one that had lost its marbles.

Well yesterday, whilst I was working at home waiting for a new shed to arrive (the old one was another victim of the bad weather. The new one is a shiny metal one, or it will be when Kate and I put it together. I don’t possess Vonduresque building skills, so it may take a while), I was rebuilding the injured party since new parts for it arrived in the post on Tuesday. One SATA RAID controller and one 160GB SATA HDD. The controller, scarily, costs more than twice what the HDD does and is also more expensive than a Geforce 7950GT. Why, I don’t know, give it’s just a PCI card with fancy sockets.

But it’s not just been the hardware that’s been an arse, it’s the software too. Microsoft Exchange and Veritas BackupExec in particular. Words cannot accurately describe the utter contempt I hold for them. There are times when software seems to be designed to be needless hard to use or completely dumb in telling you what problems it’s having. I could rant for hours on the subject, but for the sake of my sanity, won’t.

But enough of work, outside of it because of the above fun, I’ve not much felt like sitting in front of my laptop writing updates. Instead I’ve been giving the 360 a kicking. However single player Gears of War has been pounded into a bloody pulp, Project Gotham has been aced, Burnout Revenge the same and Test Drive Unlimited has lost it’s shine a bit for the time being. So I got Oblivion and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 Super Mega Squirrel Edition last week to keep me busy.

Oblivion is an odd one. It’s a proper RPG like days of old. Lots of text to read, a proper story to follow and gazillions of attributes to tweak. Gom appears to be loving it going by his achievement record, but 6 hours play was enough. I think though that I’ve been spoilt by playing Blizzard games, like Diablo and WoW. They’re more arcady RPG’s with the emphasis on action.

Actually, I totally forgot that Oblivion was unlike WoW. I went thundering into a bunch of enemies and obviously got decked. There I was expecting to be revived in some local graveyard but was instead prompted to pick which save game I’d like to load up. Feck and biscuits. An hours gameplay lost.

The main thing with Oblivion is that it’s slow going in parts. Kinda like eating a steak but getting stuck on some gristle and you just end up chewing. You know there’s more good stuff to come, but you’d rather have a Big Mac instead. Hence the Tiger Woods purchase.

Now I’d played the demo and was totally addicted. A chap at work loves Links on the PC (I used to play it for hours back in the DOS days) and it got me interested again. There’s plenty of courses (like St. Andrews, Firestone CC, Spyglass Hill) and it looks pretty damn good. One thing I really like is the way the golf swing is done. You move the left thumbstick back to start the back swing that mash it forwards to finish it off. If you don’t do it in a straight line it’ll go off sideways. It’s clever stuff.

Thing is, it’s a total time sink. I ended up playing til 3 in the morning last Saturday. 9 holes takes 20 to 30 minutes whilst 18 is double that. You really have to practice to get the hang of the controls. I’m getting there but I still suck at getting out of bunkers.

I’ve also yet to play online because I know I’ll get my arse kicked by some 12 year old who has the kind of thumb dexterity I can only dream of. I think finishing the PGA Tour and Tiger Challenge cup would be a good idea first.

iPhone Shuffle anyone?

Posted January 17, 2007 @ 11:10PM by Jimmy43
“You need the iPhone nano…”

.. Or the Iphone shuffle, press a button and dial a random phone number, awsome!

Heheh. From ArsTechnica.


The Skeleton Dance

Came across this post today on BoingBoing that brought back some childhood memories. It’s a link to a capture of Disney’s Skeleton Dance which when I was a young ‘un used to give me nightmares (I was easily scared as a child).

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/?v=mb_WYxgh-_g”][/gv]

I remember watching it on VHS tape along with the Mickey Mouse’s Haunted House nearly every week. I used to get my Dad to rent it out from Variety Videos in Burnley (which later became a Blockbuster).

Actually Variety Videos was a weird place, it seemed very dark and seedy. It was dimly lit and the carpet was a weird deep red with a repeating logo of black top hat and cane woven in. The place had two floors and the kids videos were kept on the ground floor, next to the Betamax tapes that nobody seemed to rent. The videos seemed to have been there for years, all the colours had faded out of their sleeves, looking more like pastel shades. Kinda sad really looking back on it.

Anyhoo, I was gutted when we couldn’t rent my favourite video anymore, but that was because I’d worn the tape out :)

Xbox Live

The process of signing up to Xbox Live is pretty easy. You create a profile and store it on your HDD (or memory card) and then select to make it Live enabled.

There’s a bit of typing involved so connecting a USB keyboard is a good idea (the 360 has 3 USB ports, two at the front and one at the back. There is also one on the side but that’s used by the HDD).

Once you’ve signed your life away (and your credit card) you’re constantly connected to Xbox Live. By default it’s configured to automatically logon on start up and you can disconnect if you like, but isn’t any reason to. It’s all very seamless and access various options in Live is via a blade (menu) in the dashboard, which looks similar to this:


The profile is made up of various things, but the two key things are Rep and Gamerscore. Rep is something you earn when you play online. Other players can post reviews on you where they can mark you as preferred or un-preferred player to play against. If they pick preferred, your star rating will go up, whilst if they pick un-preferred, they’ll have to pick from a further 6 categories as to what they didn’t like.


Not me

Gamerscore is something you earn by unlocking achievements in games. Achievements are just rewards you get for doing something. They can be as simple as completing a section of a game or utterly stupid, like killing 10,000 people online in Gears of War!

And because of the achievements it means that most games have no cheats, because if they did, the achievements would be meaningless. Unfortunately it can be incredibly frustrating. One such achievement is for nailing the final boss to Gears of War, Raam. I lost count of how many attempts it took me to kill him, I was getting close to doing a bit of Wii style TV breakage.

Getting back to Xbox Live, the whole thing comes into it’s own when you play something like Project Gotham Racing 3 where it’s completely hooked in. Whenever you complete anything, even if it’s just throwing a car round the test track, you’re ranked against everyone else who has played. And I like that. It’s a real incentive to try harder.

Xbox 360! Yay! Belated First Impressions


Back in November I got an Xbox 360 Premium Pack, which is a 360 with a 20GB hard drive, a wireless controller, a HDTV cable, wired headset, a pair of ear defenders and some other crap.

The Premium Pack comes in a nice shiny white box (where as a Core System has a green box). It’s a deceptively heavy box, much like lugging round a small PC tower, hmmm… funny that? Upon opening it you’re presented with… a form to buy two years extended warranty, hardly the start you want.

Throw that and the tome like manuals aside and you have a very nicely packed box. Each item is individually packed in plastic, some green, some orange coloured. I’m sure there’s some significance to it, but in my rush to get it set up, I didn’t notice.

Now I don’t have a fancy ass HDTV so just hooked it up to my old style CRT TV on one of it’s AV inputs. The HDTV cable has the plugs for both types of TV (which is good if I upgrade). Like the original Xbox, the power supply is an external lump which is hefty bugger that would be very good for clubbing baby seals with.

Things to note are that you should stand (or sit) the Xbox horizontally and not vertically (why? because stood upright it’ll scratch the disks to buggery. I had to return my first copy of Gears of War because of it. And it’s a common problem (see here, here and here). Plus a friend bought one from Gamestation and they told him the same).

Also if you’re putting it on the floor and it’s carpeted, put it on something. The reason is because this thing runs almost as hot as the sun and having it sat on your shagpile blocks up the lower vents and prematurely turns it into a electric fire.

After avoiding spontaneous combustion I got it all plugged up and turned it on… and realised what the ear defenders were for. Where as the original Xbox was lol huge, the 360 is just laugh out loud. The fans run at full whack when playing any game that requires some graphical oomph.

However on the Dashboard (the name for the 360’s menu system) and playing most Xbox Live Arcade games, it’s pretty quiet. Speaking of which, the Dashboard menu’s aren’t quite as intuitive and clean as on the PSP (and PS3) but it certainly looks nice. The little adverts for Xbox accessories and demos of FIFA 07 are a tad annoying though.

Whilst I’m ranting I should also mention that the wireless controller that came with it had a broken R1 button which means it about as useful as inflatable dart board, so it’s a good job I bought another controller. I did email Xbox support, but the replies have been comical (the first email was just said “Hello Mr. Paul Healey” (for some reason I imagined it a Chinese accent and found it funny), to which I replied “What?”. Then the second email was “Phone us on our premium rate mobile phone number for tech support”. Yeah, right).


I also hooked it to the interweb via it’s ethernet port into my wireless router / hub since I didn’t get a wireless adapter for it. It picked up on the network settings automagically, so one of the first things I did was sign up on Xbox Live. There’s two packages, Silver and Gold. Silver is free and lets you have access to downloads, updates, various demos and wotnot.

Gold includes all that but also allows you to play against other peoples. Which is a good thing because it means you’re less likely to be playing against someone who will be dicking about (plus there’s stuff like gamer’s Rep, more on that later). Anyhoo, there are three different payments for Gold, monthly at £4.99, quarterly at £14.99 and annual at £39.99. I signed up monthly just to see what it was like but will most likely switch to annual (since it saves you 20 quid).

And once I got Xbox Live connected, that’s when the fun started…

Batman is actually a Russian Spy

No really, look at the new logo for the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate.


How cool is that? It’s very subtle. They also have it on the floor at the Defence Intelligence HQ, as The Putin notices:


Found via BoingBoing / BBC.

The secret of Drunk Vondur revealed

The Vondur we all know and love is actually teetotal and doesn’t go near the vodka. In fact if he goes within 10 foot of a store selling the stuff he starts to come out in hives. The side affect of that is navigating his way through Moscow is a bit of nightmare since, obviously, there’s a vodka store on every corner.

Which means that when we see Vondur on IRC “drunk”, it’s not Vondur. Nope. It’s his cat. He sneaks on the interweb late at night whilst Vondur sleeps. And look, here’s the proof:


By pretending he’s just good old drunk Vondur, Vondur Cat’s typos are ignored. I was beginning to suspect something was up though, since on one occasion drunk Vondur was rabbiting on about he relaxed by having a good belly rub and that he really liked being scratched behind his ears. Then came the real giveaway that he preferred Whiskers to Felix. Meatier chunks or something. Then to top it off the above photo mysteriously appeared in my Inbox.

So there you have it, Drunk Vondur = Vondur Cat.

Far too cute for his own good, he even has his own gallery.

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