31/July/2008

Why texting can be hazardous to your health

Awesome! Maybe we'll be reminded of how cancer-loaded mobile phones are, and how a new discovery says it concentrates its cancer energy when text is used instead of audio, so people who opt to take half an hour to text a very simple message that still doesn't get all the details across when more could be said by actually talking to the bloody person will die long and painful deaths!

Or maybe it'll just say that you shouldn't multi-task while texting, so you don't bump your noggin on a lamppost or pour boiling hot noodles over yourself. Which is precisely what it says. Sigh.

News stories should start having relatively mundane headlines that have exciting stories. "The USA death rate will go up 2% next year - you don't want to know how high it'll be if you all don't pay us your protection money."

 


 

30/July/2008

On today's episode of "What Honestly Shouldn't Bother Me, But Does In Fact Bother Me A Great Deal:"

The way you jump in Dead Heat Scramble.

I mean... look at it. Just look at it.

I know they had three car sprites to work with, but come on, surely the Game Boy could squeeze in some large graphics.
Or at least move the car as it jumps, because who thought this actually looked good

 


 

27/July/2008

NEW TRANSFORMERS FUCK YEAH

About goddamned time they showed these! They had them announced for like a million years but only now got showing them. Which as in every fandom can only lead to disappointment. Of course, Seibertron and Allspark didn't mention any of this at all, choosing to mention such exciting topics as SOME GUY COMPOSING FOR THE MOVIE SEQUEL AGAIN and MEGAN FOX APPEARING ON SOME BEACH. I had to find this out from Galvatron's update! Great news service, fellas.

Hound, thankfully, is radical, and I like him lots already. The original transformation looked decent, simple, and provided a good looking robot, and aside from the all the back pieces on the Alternator it looked swell too, so I was fearing there'd be too much deviation for it to remain Hound. About the only thing they changed was putting more emphasis on the bumper, and that's fine! I liked the hood chest, but hey, no biggy. It kinda looks like a scaled-up version of Cybertron Hardtop with a giant transforming cassette instead of a giant sniper rifle, but Hardtop ruled so I'm in favour of that. Ravage looks swell, though it's kind of sad that there's no modern tapedeck Soundwave for him to hang out with, or even an updated Rumble for Hound to duke it out with.

Cheetor I was looking forward to, especially since it's only recently that I even acquired a Beast Wars figure and Cheetor's original toy is one I'm hunting for. I'm glad it opted for the original-style look rather than the ones after, which really lost emphasis on the robot mode being composed out of a friggin' cheetah and just made it generic lanky robot style. I'm glad it's still roughly faithful, but I'm just not quite captivated yet. The cheetah's a definite upgrade from the brick the original supposedly was, but the robot is what I go for and it's just not grabbing me how I thought it would. The tiger-head-chest is a little distracting sticking directly outward like that, and the huge panels on the arms just bother me. They don't look as bothersome as those on Classics Bumblebee and Optimus, but I must be cranky.

Cyclonus! I have little to complain about - the jet's very nice, the robot is great, and he even comes with a Targetmaster! The colours look a bit too black from the crappy photo, but hopefully some official stuff will appear to confirm it's a good purple. Not the bad purple that official photography of Classics Skywarp seems to suggest.

COSMOOOOS. The deluxe figure we've all seen was just too gangly for my tastes, and ruined the fact that Cosmos is a little dude. As a Legends-size figure he looks to work pretty well, and despite the slimming down and wacky arms I like the looks of it. UFO's a bit flatter than I'd hope, but dude, Mini Vehicles getting attention! That's great. Bumblebee also looks good except for the hideous arms that look to belong on a Throttlebot.

Inferno I only heard announced today, and already I want him. No fancy deviations or anything, just what looks like a modern reincarnation, minus the ladder and robot-mode hood. And it's not a ludicrously sized Ultra like Powerglide and Onslaught! Huzzah!

Brawn, being a Mini Vehicle, was one I looked forward to seeing. He looks good, the vehicle and robot modes looking good and all, but I think it's the colours. The green's not as dusty as the original figure, and that head colouration just bothers me. Had it been like the original face plate I probably wouldn't have complained. Oh, how I wish I was not so critical. =(

Beachcomber, likewise regarding my excitement. Robot looks great, but the vehicle looks rather dumpy. I'll probably just stick with painting up Hardtop.

Onto Transformers Animated now, Shadow Blade Megatron's just one of those repaints that nobody will probably get, but it sure looks purty. Vehicle mode is rather bland, but the purple just grabs my attention. It'd be nice if anyone could actually find the original figure in the first place. Bloody thing's rarer than chicken's teeth.

Shockwave, and his incognito Autobot identity Longarm, look pretty sharp. Shockwave's clearly the looker of the two, as Longarm, like a lot of Animated figures, looks a bit dumpy and disjointed and nowhere near as smooth as the character model - not to mention the fact that what the hell does he turn into? Shockwave just looks fun with his pointed, gangly appearance and his kind of lacklustre tank mode, though I admit it took me a while to realise where his eye was; the two yellow lights underneath made me interpret those as the eyes and the long white bit beneath as the jaw, in momentary forgetfulness that Shockwave's a one-eyed no-faced dude.

Swindle looks fantastic. His cartoon model made him a lot more rounded and flowing in his looks, but his gets in some of the good ol' fashioned giant hands and feet. And any figure that comes with a giant arm-mounted cannon is fun in my book.

And then there's Cliffjumper. Son of a bitch has a million toys and all of them are just Bumblebee recolours, but this guy has a new head! A new head that looks hilarious. Look at that blubbery chin!

All in all, this is all fine and good, but I've only seen the first wave of Animated stuff in stores and none of the new Classics have shown up, which Amazon are selling for 5 over the RRP, and that's excluding the P&P. Bloody marvellous.

 


 

24/July/2008

Wall-E's a fun movie. The most I can say regarding my pre-movie thoughts was that the first trailer made me imagine it'd be a million years before it would come out, and Flying Omelette's comments about the movie's "message" made think "how does that relate to adorable robots?" Well, okay, it's pretty obvious how it relates, but when I'm in it for the robots, I'm in it for the robots, every other element be damned!

So, yeah. Beautiful visuals, a great view of abandoned, desolate earth, and a very refreshing amount of silence and absence of dialogue for the first chunk of the movie. And a short that after way too long manages to capture the beautiful nature of Looney Tunes 2D animation perfectly. Good times! It remains entertaining when it goes into space and the humans are brought in and it gets all topical, but yeah, like Flying Omelette I thought it tried a bit too hard to look like it had something to say. The movie could very well have gone the whole way without humans, and sure, the plot may not have been as long or as preachy, but more fuckin' robots, man.

Plus, it would've made for a good mostly silent film with little more to it than pure whimsy, throwing out any chance of making a speech. Would definitely make a nice change form all the "HEY HEY YOU GUYZ LOOK WHAT I HAVE TO SAY [fart joke] AREN'T I JUST THE LIVING END" kids comedies you see these days. Robots, for instance, was enjoyable and Mel Brooks totally stole the show, but it just had an abundance of fart jokes. And Robin Williams was remarkably unfunny in it.

 

And I sincerely doubt anyone who visits this place will ever see it, let alone care (I mean, plays! What modern man gives a hoot about non-digital entertainment?), but Hippos In The Shower is just a barrel of fun. A man singing how he won over a woman (and a hippo-fish!) with his psychedelic y-fronts, an Elvis look-alike who scrubs toilets played by my main man Ade (he painted my Skywarp!), and a marine biologist who immediately brings to mind Brian Blessed. The actor was all too chuffed when I told him that. It's moving to Edinborough on 31st July for two weeks, so if I still have people from the UK and not just America and foreign lands visiting this place, I say check it out.

 


 

22/July/2008

The Mist is pretty damn superb. I'm becoming increasingly more hypocritical and any chances of me being a genuine critic are getting ever more dashed. Not that I wanted to be one, but I worry if anyone ever wanted me to be professional. And stop using "not enough explosions" as a legitimate complaint. Of course, despite my comment of "pretty damn superb" I'll probably forget about it in a week. I'm fickle.

Now, as usual, I'm going to do very little talking about the movie, and merely mention things like the distinctive camera work and intriguing pace in brief, and those mentions being the last we'll hear of them. I'll be talking about the discussion value. Like the religious themes, the human mindset and other such pieces of discussion value. You can discuss those. You can't get much discussion out of "I liked the way the camera was used, the frequent use of blurriness on close and far objects." Aside from maybe a "yeah, that was good" or "no I thought that stunk," that's that conversation exhausted.

Having read issue 50 of The Walking Dead and eagerly anticipating the next one, I've remembered how much I love dire and desolate situations. Not in a personal experience or anything, but for storytelling. The writer of The Walking Dead said that he was frustrated at how most, if not all zombie movies ended with the military arriving, all zombies being shot and the day being saved, more or less. A harrowing situation that could go on for months, years, even decades and maybe a century if you don't do a good job of solving it - always brought to an end. The comic takes the zombie situation, and runs with the idea that, whoops, maybe the government won't solve things! Originally camping outside a city for easy access to supplies, the group move to an RV, an abandoned village and a prison, and learn to grow crops, make do with having a baby being born, and still find means of entertainment despite death filling the earth. Some still hope for the government to fix things, but they still take matters into their own hands for prolonged living.

The Mist doesn't quite escape the trope, and in yet another of my casually mentioned spoilers, it ends with the military arriving and burning all the monsters. Just after the main character has mercy-killed the others he escaped with. A beautifully haunting image in the movie, but mentioned so idly here I almost feel it worthy of a "wah, wah, waahhhh" snippet.

"I CAN SEE YOUR KNICKERS, DAVEY" says an indescribable monster peeping in through the window, staring at a most perplexed Davey.

Totally unrelated, I just wanted another image in this month's blog. Besides, it breaks up this bulk of text!

But it's basically about faith that things will be solved without taking matters into your own hands. The main character and his group are well aware that shit is going down, and are trying to make themselves scarce without just waiting around. Everyone else, ever so gradually, begin getting converted by a religious crackpot (I'm talking literally, the kind that demand child sacrifices and all) into seeing these events as Judgement Day and await the man upstairs to bail them out. After stabbing one of the military folk who was only vaguely associated with the scientists that caused all the monsters to show up and throwing him to the monsters in the mist. Wah, wah, waaaahhhh. In the main group's escape they kill the crackpot and leave the followers in shock, but after the group run out of gas in their vehicle and commit suicide, the military show up, all those still in the building are seen being driven away to safety. Father said he thought the group were a little too eager to give up on life as soon as their juice ran out, and I'll admit the same, but I saw no problem with it because I barely take movies seriously anymore. I mean, a window into other worlds! What bozo let that get past the pitching stage?

The Walking Dead deals with how mankind reacts when brought back to the primitive world of survivalist nature, but they still try to maintain a healthy society of mostly stable relationships, growing food without cannibalism and having lots and lots of casual sex. I'm all too likely to be very unhip, but if they could, would everyone (and I mean everyone) set about pairing up and jumping bones if they knew the plane they were on was going to crash?

The Mist, vaguely likewise, features the religious followers sanctioning all kinds of sin in the name of their personal success, willing to murder anyone their leader commands them to under the belief of salvation. This leader begins her tirade through sheer desire to have done good in the world, and her followers primarily let themselves be guided due to a simple yearning for order, rules and management once more. Those in The Walking Dead oppose the order, and aside from run-ins with unstable prisoners and murder towns, they turn out pretty well. Those who oppose this unruly-led order in The Mist end up in deep shit.

Interesting looks into the human nature, never mind that it's entertainment.

So, yeah. The Mist is lots of fun with all kinds of ghoulies and body horror, but the chance to get talking about how screwed up we all are is always a turn-on. If you're as unwholesome as I am, I say check it out.

 

As for updates, ye gawds, I was sure I had something to work on. Puchi Carat is complete in terms of main stuff, but it's all the extra things like translations, manual scans, downloads and whatnot I want to truly be satisfied with it. I'm not in a writing mood lately, so blabbering is mostly out. I've been meaning to cover the wacky fanart I find on Japanese art sites, but I've just been getting sidetracked. Almost feel the place needs a bit of a clean-up regarding where files are kept, so a bit of reluctance there, but we'll see what happens.

 

And having actually played Raving Rabbids 2 and Big Beach Sports, yes, I can say my starting selection of Wii games is indeed possibly the worst I've started off with for a console. I'd like to say Wii Sports and Smash Bros. balance it out by being very, very fun, but Big Beach Sports is just a colossal shit.

 


 

17/July/2008

Got me a Wii! I've made a Mii and played Brawl extensively with the Classic Controller, so initial thoughts:

1) The Wii Remote is ludicrously sensitive. Maybe I'm just a shaky motherfuck, but it took me two minutes just to hit the "Y" for Ragey without accidentally clicking T or F.

2) One thing that bothers me about today's consoles is that they want to look arty farty with their crystal whites or lumiscent blacks, but with the former that just means that every single speck of dust and dirt anywhere in my room will show up on it. The DS isn't quite as bad, but my SNES has been living on carpets and in drawers for nearly two decades and it still looks smart. Maybe the white is there to show what a horrible person you are.

3) The Wii Remote's rubber grip is a pain in the ass to get off and on again, especially when I feel the batteries need changed and a better sync be made up with it and the console. But I don't like using it without the grip. FIX THIS WITH MAGIC, SOMEONE, PLEASE

4) My first play-through of Brawl made me feel a bit "ehh" but after playing it for like an hour or two on both Classic mode and the Subspace Emissionary I'm falling into my typical love for the series. Wario is fantastic, and the fact there's actually a story, even if a completely incomprehensible one, that's actually 2-Player and plays like a Kirby game is just super-duper. More games should have co-operative playing.

5) The Classic Controller is very rad, though. I am now sure that Nintendo doesn't want us to have good things by making it incompatible with GameCube games.

6) As I expected, playing tennis in your own house does make you feel like a goober. But you manage to have fun being one. Except in baseball because HOW DOES ANYONE MAKE SENSE OF THIS (also my ball was SO NOT OUT)

7) So my first four games are Smash Bros., Wii Sports, Rayman: Raving Rabbids 2 and Big Beach Sports. This may be the worst first games I've had for a console ever.

Now if only I could be this vaguely positive about everything else and I would be ready to fit back into the wacky world of video game conversation!

 


 

16/July/2008

Well how about that.

I'm kind of holding Smash Bros. Brawl in my hands.

Because I own it.

And I'm still not wetting my drawers.

Probably because I'm not the A-Team's Hannibal and my plan, in fact, did not come together. I haven't actually got a Wii yet to play it on. Oops!

Looking at it should be plenty of fun, though.

also check out my double jointed thump you guys isn't it great

 


 

15/July/2008

Saw The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Too tired to go in-depth, but if you liked the previous one and like today's style of fantasy movies in general and don't mind the whole religious undertones of FAITH WILL SAVE THE DAY then yeah it's pretty good. Prince Caspian was my least favourite of the books; I enjoyed it, but the pacing just seemed too plodding for my taste, and as a whole it never gripped me as well as it could've. The movie sorts that out quite well and despite a bit of plodding-ness at the beginning and before the climatic fight, it's a fair amount more brisk. Plus, having Eddie Izzard as a talking mouse is pretty wild.

I look forward to Voyage of the Dawntreader so I can see how much of an asshole they make Eustace. They better keep him as much an asshole, if not more of an asshole than he was in the books or they will pay. By means of losing their not-being-badmouthed-by-me-ness.

 


 

14/July/2008

So, seriously, why do people choose the nicest and sunniest of Northern Ireland's rare nice and sunny days to play with power tools? Everyone's out, enjoying the weather, having their windows open to let the breeze in, and then BREEEEERRRRRRRRRR.

I'm trying to read The Walking Dead and am really getting into it, and then BREEEEEEEEEER. Sometimes BREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER but very rarely BREEER.

It's like having a concert with music that somehow, through breaking the law of the world, is appealing to everyone, even those who don't like music. And then someone decides to announce on extra-loudspeaker that their rectum has prolapsed very badly and then puts it on Jumbo-Vision. Except that's more visually frustrating and mood ruining rather than just plain ol' audio, but I don't work well without absurd examples.

Basically, why do the things you don't enjoy on days society says you should enjoy? I mean, nobody likes the sound of power drills. Especially when I'm reading about someone having his dingaling nailed to a board.

 


 

12/July/2008

I'm quite disturbed at my increasingly potty mouth.

It's not enough for me to say "crumbs" in this day and age, for I must complete it as "crumbs and cock-balls." Similarly, using "ass" as another way of just a word along the likes of "crap," meaning "this isn't good," I have to extend it to "anus," "rectum," and sometimes "double rectum."

No wonder nobody wants to be my friend!

 

Completely contrasting the last entry, I'm actually kind of hunting down a Wii at the moment. Steve was interested in getting one, and then remembered that the folks said they were going to get one years ago that they themselves would pay for, so hey, why not act up on that? I mean, they wrote it down on two pieces of paper, therefore making it legally binding. Legal loopholes are great when they don't screw you over with an economy-size fork.

 


 

09/July/2008

So I think the reason I'm generally more positive about recent movies than recent video games is how the industry is portrayed.

Everyone rambles on about how fantastic movies look nowadays, and as much as me and my cranky-ass attitude hate to admit it, they look pretty swell. But nobody's really saying the whole moviemaking art is any more superb than it was years ago, nor is anyone praising any unique storytelling or other such sub factors. They say they've got "better" visuals to work with than they had years ago, but make no word of other improvements. I find today's movies fun, but after a few weeks I'll more than likely forget they existed.

Video games, meanwhile, are currently going "we're the next generation can't go down from here all the way up it's totally supreme everything about these games is gonna rock your world" when all I see are gimmicky controllers and the same realistic graphics trotted out again and again. The very few of these new games I've played have been utterly forgettable experiences, and I simply can't have enthusiasm for the market anymore, to be blunt. I'd like to, but it just isn't quite appealing to my very narrow and highly biased and demanding tastes.

Make more 2D platformers you guuuuyyyz :[

 


 

08/July/2008

Saw Hancock today. I enjoyed it!

I always feel like a hypocrite by starting just about every movie review this way, yet I'm eternally critical of just about every video game ever. =(

 

Basically, super dude does super things but with little regard for things like property damage and whatnot. Dude he saves tries to make him more public relations friendly, and a term in prison sorts that out. Things are sorted.

Then the spoiler that everyone talks about happens.

Said saved dude's wife turns out to be just as super as Hancock, and when they're close together they grow mortal again. Shit happens!

Yeah, it's a twist and it changed the direction of the plot, but considering there wasn't really much more they could do with the first half, even if it was the more entertaining part, I welcomed it. I was worrying that the rest of the movie would just be conflict with said super woman, but it served as a short, incomprehensible fight to set up the fact her husband finds out, and sets the stage for the final, more interesting fight against some criminals Hancock had dealt with before who weren't super at all, but proved a match because of the mortality and the woman being kind of dead. Nothing fantastically arty, thought-provoking or anything that could be considered anything more than a Summer action flick, but for an hour and a half of wisecracks and people being beat up, I can't argue.

Crawl and 1000's comments on the Flying Omelette thread did kind of jump out at me, though.

"Superhero moves are so played out that even that "twist" is played out. Wolverine is a pretty obvious example of a superhero who doesn't want to be heroic. In Superman 2, even Superman wanted to give up being a superhero. [...] My feeling is that there isn't anything left to be creatively done with superheroes, and there's not much reason to try (artistically; commercially, maybe)"

As everyone is more than blatantly aware by now I hope, I criticise a lot of things and toss the definition of "shit" on just about everything, but I'd barely consider myself a critic. I'm all for art and looking deeply into things, but I definitely wouldn't want everything to be like that. It'd be nice for every creative creation to be a masterpiece, and I rather naively believe that every video game should be remembered for at least something, but that just can't be. And on the whole, I'm barely a critic and more a guy who just likes to be entertained. I'm sure things like The Watchmen could possibly be considered art judging by how many people have love gushed over it, but I personally thought the superhero genre was one specifically made for entertainment and not really to tackle anything major or change the world.

Or it could be I completely missed the point. Wouldn't be the first time!

I suppose it doesn't help that everyone's emphasising the "he doesn't want to be a hero" part when, to me, he did good things but was an asshole about it. An entertaining asshole!

Hancock's fun. Nothing truly creative, but you get to see a man have another guy's head shoved up his ass, so that was worth the price of admission for me.

 


 

07/July/2008

Another year older, supposedly another year wiser, and another year closer to impending death. Best make the best of it!

Maybe I'll actually make an update again. I don't like being a lazy ass. =(

 


 

05/July/2008

I'm back, with a run-through of the holiday in a rather lengthy nutshell which, yet again, nobody will probably care about!

 

Ten hours of travel

Ten hours of travel!

The boat ride took two hours, we drove for another three before stopping for an hour in some city type location, and then finally another four spent driving.

It was a barrel of laughs.

 

York

The place we stayed, and it was a mite shit. I'm all for technological progress and man walking on the moon, but I'm a country fellow at heart, and rowdy, bustling cities full of drunken yobbos and flapper girls just isn't my cup of tea. It's meant to be a historical city because of the walls surrounding it, but to be perfectly honest, all such sights were rendered underwhelming or just plain dull by the fact that although said landmarks were goodness knows how old, they were still surrounded by your bog-standard tourist city environment. And that's terrible.

 

The house

Was mildly rad! It was four stories! It had three bathrooms, two living rooms and three bedrooms! All of the bathrooms were cramped as shit!

Fo sho. One of them was cramped because it was squashed between the garage and the living room, the top floor's one cramped because it was where the roof sloped down again, and my one was cramped because the designer thought having extra bedroom space that would be used for absolutely nothing was just critical to its success. Coming back is nice, but somehow it's nicest to come back to a shower you can actually move a few paces in, let alone have space to turn around.

 

The laptop

Unrelated to the holiday, but my dad's laptop went kaput before we went, and so he grabbed up a new one and had only tinkered with it very briefly before we went. 36GB, Windows Vista Premium, and AVG Anti-Virus was on it, so it could've been worse.

But honest to God, laptop keyboards are the single worst keyboards I have ever experienced; right next to those ones with the humongous gap in the middle to try and peer pressure you into the right hand-keys format cobblers. I like girth to my keys! Therefore when I tap them, they click, and I actually know I've pressed a key! Not to mention girth adds differentiation between keys, so you know you're definitely hitting S and not every key around with S with a big buttery finger.

Also, Vista's pretty shit too. The Start Menu no longer accepts key shortcuts; Sound Recorder has lost every feature besides actually recording (tough luck playing the damn thing before you want to save it!); I have no idea how one accesses My Computer and My Documents; and despite being the Premium edition, it doesn't have Microsoft Office at all.

THIS IS WHY I HATE MACHINES

 

York Minster Cathedral

Awesome looking place and full of all kinds of wacky imagery, including gargoyles eating peoples' heads, but it seemed a little odd having no actual dedication to religious people in the cathedral, let alone Big J and the man upstairs. About fifty million dedications to those who fell in war, but none to the priests and druids and rabbis who didn't burn the whole place down, or anyone actually religious. And there was a gift shop inside. I don't know. It just seemed weird to me. What do I know about stuff like this?

Gargoyles eating heads is universally awesome, though. Thumbs up.

 

Whitby

We went here on Tuesday, and the drive up was remarkably swell. The city itself was pretty awful, though. Yet another tourist city, and now with the addition of really horrendously designed roads and footpaths! You could barely walk a few feet without a car having to swerve in front to access some out-of-the-way path, and crossing the bridge on a remarkably narrow pavement with an army of people going both directions on it with cars doing the same was just one of those experiences where a grenade would've been a pleasant sight.

The Whitby Abbey, on the other hand, was remarkable. It's very hard for me to be positive here when I spent so much time comparing things to bodily excrement and the fact I barely take myself seriously anytime at all, but seriously, awesome place for reals. There isn't much more to it than a single, massive, ruined cathedral, but its surroundings are what make it so distinctive. High on the mountains with the sea in plain sight, roaring winds all around, it's a wonderful experience.

 

Studley Royal and Fountains Abbey

Was pretty nice, too. Its abbey was much, much bigger and a lot more extensive, and situated in a pleasant little lake-filled valley. Which, naturally, meant ducks. I'll spare you the millions upon millions of duck photos I took. It was pretty swell, but nowhere near as dynamic as Whitby's one.

 

Jorvik Viking Centre

Was a crock load of anus. I never get much opportunity to ramble about it here, but I love history, and any bit of history with lots of violence is doubly good in my book. But in perfect honesty, it seemed way too much effort was put into the gimmicky portions of the tour, such as the ludicrous time capsule (a room!), the voyage through a wax representation of a Viking village that was simply too cluttered with noise to hear what little uninformative narration there was, and the typical museum segment at the end felt very tacked-on. It did have a guy in costume talking about a skeleton of a Saxon warrior, pointing out all the good stuff about the fellow when he was alive and all the wounds he suffered, which was actually somehow rather superb. If it had more of that then I could easily recommend it, but the rest was a waste of time and cost way too much, so forget it.

Also, I love all the stupid little wonky features of the English language, like how all uses of PH could just be F and all, but the one I absolutely, positively hate is how J becomes Y. Why? Y is an okay letter and the fact it can be a vowel whenever it wants to be is radical, but the sound of it just isn't impressive. J has a cool sound. Why would you want to replace it with a more mundane one you hear more often? Yorvik sounds okay but ultimately forgetable. JOORRRRVIK sounds BADASS.

 

GAME

Still sucked. I always see them and feel the desire to enter and browse, but every time I see nothing of interest. I did see a Gamestation, but by then I didn't bother. I'd like to imagine I missed out on the best game ever for the best price ever, but it's more likely I missed Super Mario 64 DS for the same price it's been since its release.

 

Action figures

I spent 46 while away. 10 on an Animated Blackarachnia, who if there had been a Ratchet - or anyone else for that matter - I probably wouldn't have bothered with. It's a good figure! 7 on Alternators Wheeljack and 25 on Movie Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, which are still in their boxes. And 4 on four horrendous generic knockoffs I found in a pound shop that should be hilarious once I get them opened up. Good times!

 

Celebrity encounters

None at all. I think when you hope one of the highlights of going to a crappy tourist city is going to be encountering Brian Blessed then you're just setting yourself up for disappointment. One can dream. =(

 

Overall, it was pretty fine. York stinks, but the other places I visited were pretty great, and surely finding an Animated figure when I wasn't even aware they were out yet brings things up a notch. Don't think I'll visit for a while, though. Those Scottish roads are crazy!

And, uh, hope you guys like these non-updates, because I got to work on very little during the break. Check out Galvatron's stuff some more! It's pretty super.

 

Unique experience: Eating Cheerios while the "throwing a guy on a wheelchair out a window during a family meal" scene in The Pianist is playing.