Category Archives: Taff

What I’ve been up to…

I’m sat at the computer, Im not doing anything, so hey why not update my blog!

Since I last updated we’ve been having some real fun times, with some new different stuff. One of the big things that Rach and I like to do is do stuff thats different that we havent tried before. This has covered stuff like Ice skating, a night at the darts, going to the greyhounds, crazy golf and various other things. Our latest fun time was two weeks ago where we spent a night out at the Bingo!

Bingo Salford

Its actually way more fun than I expected, and we had a great time there. So much infact that we ended up going again last night. In our two nights there we are yet to win, but we’ve had some real fun times. Maybe we’ll end up going every week! And if I dont win at the bingo I can always try playing poker!

As well as this I’ve rejoined the gym and started going with Rach. Unfortunately this means going at 6am which as anyone who knows me will know, is hell for me. I’m not a morning person by any means and this has meantearly nights for me.

But on the positive side I’m losing weight, gaining fitness and today I did the longest run Ive done in years, finishing at 5.1 miles and feeling fucking delighted with myself. Even if I did look a mess

 

Taff in the gym

 

I got punked

So I got a letter through the post, nothing really out of the ordinary

 

 

No particular post mark, nothing out of the ordinary.

Little did I know the horrors that await

So I open it up and have a look, inside a cover sheet and a second sheet with the actual letter.

And all the letter said was

A joke.

A terrible joke. Hmmm.

At this point Im sat confused, Rach asks whats up so I tell her the joke and how the letter has no identifying marks. Then have to explain the joke. Then I have to explain it again.

So at this point Im a bit confused as to what it is all about wondering if I signed up to something weird. I take another look at the cover sheet and notice some stuff at the bottom

Hmmm. S&H Enterprises. Ive never heard of them.

Theres also a reference for me to show Ive recieved the letter, so I load up the website and fill in the details and get this confirmation.

 

WHO IN THE FUCK ARE S & H ENTERPRISES

To the google mobile!

 

Never heard of them.

Well, its someone who knows me anyway.

To twitter!

Well you were no help twitter.

To facebook!


The Backstory.

Graeme is also known as Scotsman. We’ve known each other for years and have a few mutual friends on facebook. One of these used to be a guy we call Homer. Homer loves bad jokes, and uses his facebook status to transmit really fucking terrible jokes all the time. Constantly. To the point where I deleted him as a friend cause I was sick of fucking reading them.

As soon as Scots found out, he was delighted. He had something he could use to annoy me.

Since I deleted Homer from facebook Scots has delighted in sending me Homers jokes over MSN messenger till I told him to stop or I’d block him.

Then it started.

A whatsap message on my phone.

An email.

On a forum in a thread entitled “Taff”

On a forum, in a thread about Xbox games, under spoiler tags while talking about a new game.

And now, through the post.

He fucking got me.

He fucking got me.

He fucking got me.

 

And the worst thing, I found out after that Rach was in on it, after having been bribed with Lucky Charms.

 

I will get my revenge. Somehow.

 

Fuck you Dealer Dan.

 

Batman Live : Review

So we were lucky enough to get some tickets for the first ever full performance of Batman Live. But what the christ is Batman Live. I will avoid spoilers without some kind of warning or spoiler text.  Like this

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Batman is gay

 

 

Ah yes. A live action performance of Batman. We didn’t have a clue what to expect to be quite honest. Would it be of the levels of Spider-man The Musical which has been dogged with problems ever since it was launched, or would it be something different.

From reading previews I saw it was billed as more Adam Wests Batman than Christian Bales, with a more fun than serious storyline. The show was not a musical, more a live action performance. The show we were seeing was billed as the first full dress rehearsal and before the show out on stage came Anthony Van Laast and James Powell, the co-directors, who warned that if anything went particularly wrong then they may have to stop the show and run through things. Uh oh.

The stage itself, well when we first saw it we didn’t know what to think.

Batman Live Stage

Those tiny buildings, theyre about man size.We sat there wondering how the hell this would work, it looked quite frankly ridiculous. However as the show started it did kind of work well. The buildings were moved as needed, dropping down into the stage or being swiftly moved into the back stage arena. When there were buildings and people on stage they were treated with in a decent way – for instance the Waynes being stood out front of the cinema to represent them having just come out of a screening of Zoro, or later in the show Harley Quinn being sat on top of a replica of Arkham Asylum. While initially thinking the sets were ridiculous they actually worked quite well. Some of the later sets were also great, one highlight being a Jokers Head that was made up of henchman – its difficult to describe but when you see it you’ll love it.

The screen at the back is massive and bat shaped, and gives the different settings some depth. Between scenes it can also flick through comic book pages to show time flicking by. Its used really well at times, with some of my favourite parts being showing the descent into the batcave, or the part where a picture of someone on stage is taken by a photographer, and the “picture” flashes up on-screen in a comic book panel. Theres also a good part where Wayne details some backstory, as the screen flashes up animated versions of the events hes recalling.

The show itself is clearly geared more towards the more fun aspects of Batman. The basic non spoiler version is that its the story of Batman and Robin getting together. It starts with a brief part which shows why Batman became Batman, before skipping forward to Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon at a visit to the circus, where the flying Graysons are performing. Anyone who knows Robins back story can guess what happens there, and this develops the story into a full Batman vs Supervillans story. If you want more spoilers I’ll detail the full story at the end within spoiler tags.

Parts like the circus scene allow the show to take a side turn, with the action on stage in this part being all about some high flying trapeze stunts. The show does this at other points, with one later scene developing into a series of magic  tricks. While it is undoubtably impressive to see these kind of stunts, it does to me at least, take away from the storyline that was developing.

 

While I’m no batman expert (I’ll leave that to the likes of Good Ol’ WT or taterpie), but there did seem inconsistencies with what I would expect from the character.

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He pretty much straight up tells Dick Grayson that he’s Batman for the sole reason of getting him to stay at Wayne Manor. I think even the audience were shocked at this, because it took everyone a while to react to the “I am Batman” line

 

One real weak point for me was the fighting. Maybe this was partly because it was the first full dress rehearsal, but the fighting was terrible at times. It looked very awkward and clunky, sound effects didn’t match the action on stage and Batman in particular looked like his costume was making his movements more restricted. Perhaps one of the weakest scenes for me was Batman and Catwoman first meeting. This scene utilised the miniature building sets shown earlier, as Batman and Catwoman fought between buildings jumping from one to the other as they battled. However the movements were clunky, and their fighting looked like they were barely even trying to tickle each other. A later battle where a series of henchman battled Batman and Robin came off as much better, mainly as Robins movements in his costume seemed much smoother

The villans are given almost no back story at all, but I suppose that’s something you can expect when they pack so many characters in. You have The Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, Twoface and The Scarecrow. I cant help but feel this was a mistake, as aside from Catwoman and the Joker-Harley duo, none of the other enemies get time to develop. Infact Scarecrow and Ivy show up very late in the show, and for a combined time of about three minutes before disappearing. Of the others Two Face gets a few laughs with some fun arguing amongst his two personalities when he first shows up, Riddler gets out a master plan before being pushed to the side, and Penguin gets a big entrance that gets boring quickly.

Of the people on stage, well the undoubtable star is the Joker. He and Harley Quinn get the best lines, and the best scenes. It isnt a Heath Ledger style Joker, its definitely edging more towards a Jack Nicholson style. He makes a great entrance to the stage too. Robin was a bit too over enthusiastic for me, though I suppose many Batman fans felt the same way when he was introduced to the comic. Batman, well Ive already mentioned his costume looking clunky, but he also seemed to be out of breath after any scene that required him to move. May want to rethink that design a little I think.

Despite me coming off as a little negative in the last few paragraphs I would say its a great night out. For a night out for the family I would say its great fun and a good night out. The little kids around, many of them in Batman costumes seemed to love it, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves too.

Batman Live premieres in Manchester from Tuesday 19th July before touring the UK and Europe, then jumping across the pond to open in North America in August 2012. Tickets are on sale now.

 

I just discovered Seinfeld

Seinfeld logoI’d never really watched Seinfeld until recently, despite its fame as one of the top rated American sitcoms of all time, but recently Ive been marathoning through the entirety of the show and I have to say in the words of Larry David….

Its pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good

It’s actually my first time ever watching the show properly and Im finding it much better than I ever expected. I know its a critically acclaimed show, but my only experiences of it before now were catching it at late night airings of the show at half past 1 on a Tuesday night on BBC2, often straight after a snooker tournament had aired or when I was flicking through the channels. I wasnt ever caught up in an episode, often being put off by the laugh track or the quirky sound effect that punctuated every scene change

I’ve actually only started watching it recently for two reasons

1) I love the Office, its my favourite TV show ever and I always find the mix of humour and emotion just amazing. A few months back I happened upon the above show on youtube, “Ricky Gervais meets….” which sees Ricky meet and speak with his comedy heros. The above episode (part 1 linked, but the other six parts can be found following on from that video) features Larry David who Gervais considers a genius. I’d never heard of this bloke, so I looked him up and saw he was creator of Seinfeld and star and creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm, so I figured hey if its good enough for Ricky its good enough for me. I started to watch Curb and loved it. Its a great show and “Larry David” is one of the great comedy show characters. When I got up to season 7, which is the Seinfeld reunion season, I figured I should watch Seinfeld before that so Id know what was going on.

2) Various American posters on forums I read hail it as one of the greatest shows ever, with SomethingAwful even featuring a thread where people still just quote lines from the show over and over. Even though Goons are fucking terrible with their opinions sometimes, Ive got to say they got this one right. I still dont agree that My Little Pony is one of the best shows ever tho.

Admittedly, some of the episodes do fall flat for me and the show was a bit of a slow burner at the start. However the more and more I watch it the more I find the majority of episodes, while still dated, are just pure genius.

Excuse the terrible quality of the youtube, but the above scene with the faking orgasms had me in stitches. This linked scene was even better (embedding disabled on this one unfortunately).

Ive been watching 6-7 episodes a week, more whenever I have the free time and really enjoying it.

If youre British, and never realised the fuss, its definitely worth checking out. And if youre American, Im sorry for judging you simply by Two and a Half Men.

Achievement Whoring – Virtual Legend

I hit a goal I had set for the end of the year (lol) of 3000 achievements won. This worked out at the time at 250 over 352 days. I got it in 3 months, lol.

Ive set myself a goal of getting to 100k by the end of the yea, this isnt a realistic goal, its just cause I want to track it. My actual goal is 75k and Im on target for this.

Ive also set myself a goal of beating Nibbles TA score. Obviously he plays for the more difficult achievements which get higher TA%. The thing about this is hes set himself a goal of beating my Gamerscore. Will be a fun battle.

Started at the following
TA : 89,768 vs 94,834 – 5066 difference
GS : 63,495 vs 58,430 – 5065 difference

Will be interesting to see who gets there first.

In games, I played a bunch of Lips (31/40), sent back Homefront (26/47), got a few on Borderlands (31/50), nabbed one on Crash Course (11/12) and Battlefield 1943 (11/12).

But the crowning glory was this achievement

Ive been sitting on 45 of 46 for a few weeks. Id been sitting on 43 of 46 for months. The last 3 achievements were for

1) Playing in every stadium – theres 50 stadiums
2) Playing as a team from every league – Theres around 30 leagues.
3) Playing 500 games with your virtual Pro.

1 + 2 were fairly easy to track once I’d set out to, though they were difficuly and time consuming to get. I stuck a spreadsheet on Googledocs ad loaded it up everytime I played to check leagues and stadiums off.

3 was a killer. 500 games, a minimum of 8 minutes a game, works out as almost 3 days solid of just playing Fifa. Add in the fact that any matches I lost connection from wouldnt count and you have a fucking time consuming achievo.

Thankfully, I got it this week, playing online clubs and 1k’d Fifa 11. Get the fuck in.

This week I will be mostly playing Dead Space which just arrived from my rental place. I should be getting another game in the next few days from my Top 5, which is Fight Night, Top Spin 4, Alpha Protocol (reccomended by Scotsman), Crysis 2 and Red Dead Undead Nightmares.

I made some Scotch Eggs!

For Xmas I ended up gettng some money, and oe thingIve wanted to buy for a while is a Deep Fat Fryer. While they are obviously an unhealthy way of cooking as there is, there also certain things Ive always wanted to try cooking tha really require one.

So I was pretty happy to see that Asda had a decent one on offer for £20. I bought it, went home and promptly made some twice fried chips. This involves frying at a low heat, then letting the chips cool, then frying at a hotter temperature. They were pretty awesome, really crisp on the outside while still light and fluffy on the inside.

Today I got a chance to make something Ive always wanted to make – Scotch Eggs.

I used a Hairy Bikers recipie, which uses half sausage meat and half black pudding for the meat.

Heres some pics!

Cooking

Scotch Eggs Cooking

Cooked!

Oh My!

They were amazing!