July 5, 2011

Following recent comments, we at the Daily Gripe felt it necessary to add a disclaimer to this blog to clear away any worries or concerns that you, our adoring fans loving readers bored friends <adjective><noun:pl> may have regarding our dedication to the delicate art of griping, specifically on a daily basis.

We can assure you all, reader opinion is taken very seriously here at the Daily Gripe and we acknowledge that we have recently been neglecting our readership. For this we apologise profusely and beg for your forgiveness.

It must be noted that while the Daily Gripe appears to be misleading readers with our alleged promising of gripes on a daily basis, we must draw attention to the fact that this would make us all very miserable indeed. The occasional coolness must sneak in from time to time to prevent us from becoming grumpy old men. As for the daily nature of the blog, we here at Gripe Towers are very busy with various other projects, social events and Xboxes.

For the sake of argument please consider the name of the Daily Gripe to be read as “the occasionally when we think about it or remember we have a blog gripe, coolness or other information of interest”.

We hope this has addressed any worries you may have and please be assured that we will put every effort into providing you with a better service in the future.

Starting now: muttermutterexcessiveformalitymutter

If you have any further questions or concerns you know how to reach us. We thank you for your time and wish you a pleasant onward journey.

Best. BBQ. Ever.

June 20, 2011

Hi blog… I forgot you existed so in an effort to provide a bit of a catchup I’m going to start with what I’ve done most recently and work backwards until I get to where I left off or forget that you exist again… whichever comes first 😉

So I went to Jon and Izzy’s yesterday for a BBQ with a difference. The advertised meat was a “safari pack” which basically involved weird steak from around the world. In approximate order of preference, this involved each of the following:

  1. Springbok – Like eating Bambi’s cousin. Carved like butter. Could be eaten with  just a spoon.
  2. Ostrich – Very lean and delicious.
  3. Wild Boar – Traditionally sausages but works equally well as a steak.
  4. Kangaroo – Tried to bounce off the plate.
  5. Venison – Like eating Bambi.
  6. Bison – Like tough pork, a bit chewy for my taste, but still tasty.
These were all expertly cooked by Jon, muchos respect. In addition to these we also had a beef and chorizo burger also crafted by Jon, additional respect.
Total different types of meat in one meal: eight. I call that a win… Om nom nom 🙂

I’m Going on a March

March 31, 2011

This was brought to my attention the other day…

Watch as much of that as you can possibly bear, then watch this…

Beware of those Muslamic Ray Guns 🙂

Beep Beep Beep

February 23, 2011

No…. not a tank reversing. Alarm clocks 😛

Having now gotten used to my android phone I am finding uses for it I never knew possible. One is the vast array of different alarm clocks the app store has to offer, and the one I’m using is awesome enough to warrant a blog post 😉

Options available (and advantages over a traditional alarm clock):

  • Time between snoozes (awesome as most are just fixed at 9-10 minutes which is more than enough for me to get back to deep sleep)
  • Number of snoozes, or unlimited (rather than just a fixed 1 hour, which is often not enough to get me awake)
  • Day select (so that I don’t forget to turn it off at a weekend and then on on a weekday)
  • Speaking clock (fairly self explanatory)
  • Enforced Mathematics… ???

Ok, so the last one is what really kicks ass. Before you can turn the alarm off you have to solve an “arithmetic problem” to the tune of x + ( y * z ) or (x * y ) + z.

So every 4 minutes in the morning I solve a maths problem, and it actually really works… my wakeup time has gone down from over 1 hour to 12 minutes 😛 (although this will probably increase as my maths skillz improve and my brain wakes up less and less with each problem)

Photographic Evidence

February 15, 2011

As promised.. here is some photographic evidence for the events at snowtour 🙂  Some of these have been shamelessly stolen from facebook 😉

Myself, dressed as a pencil

Me doing 10 (with 4 lots of #7) press ups for saying "mine"

Belgian Pint

Slidey Ice Karting

Note to self: don't fall asleep before room mates again


Other evidence is either pending, mean, or shocking. Trust me no-one wants to see the picture of the thing I wish I could un-see and as such I would not subject it to the unsuspecting public of the intertubes 😉

Evidence of the tricks and such is available by joining us for the snow fuelled antics next year 😉

As Red as the Red Sea

February 14, 2011

A bunch of us went to Suzie’s on Saturday night to celebrate the 30th orbit of the Earth around the sun since she was born. To mark this achievement for the Earth and safe in the knowledge that for now (at least, and indeed at most) it continues to rotate, we ate pizza, snacks and cake, drank mulled wine (and attempted “vin chaud”) and played party style games.

One game in particular that I enjoyed was “Mafia”. For those that don’t know what this is (as I didn’t), I explain…. now 🙂

All players sit in a circle and one is designated “Gamemaster”. The gamemaster takes an ace and 2 black and the rest red cards from a deck and shuffles and gives out one to each player. They then look at it, try not to laugh and close their eyes. Once all eyes closed, gamemaster asks mafia one (black ace) to open their eyes, then mafia two. The mafia now know who they are and try not to laugh. They close their eyes again and then everyone opens their eyes. Everyone who is not a mafia member is a civilian.

The aim of the game for the mafia is to get $civilian_count == 1.

The aim of the game for the civilians is to get $mafia_count == 0.

Players are killed in two ways. Firstly, the entire group discusses who they want to take to court to stand trial. That person then has the option to defend themselves against their accusers. The default defense on this is “my card is as red as the red sea” :P. A vote is then taken on whether or not to kill that person (at this point the mafia are acting as if civilians, and so accuse and vote in the same way).  That person is then dead or not. Everyone then closes their eyes again and mafia one is asked to open their eyes, indicate who they wish to assassinate and the closes their eyes. Mafia two then does the same and if they independently vote for the same person, that person is dead. The game continues until one team wins 🙂

At this point I wish to congratulate the best liars actors in the group. Izzy for successfully convincing me that she was innocent, causing me to vote to kill Martin (sorry dude :P) and Dania and Suzie for managing to get the rest of the group to kill me after my “accuse and see the reaction” backfired into “you accused first so it must be you”.

Following this we had cake. Minor destruction confirmed it was a party as half of the cake went flying onto the floor following about 30 seconds of dramatic “quick save the cake” attempts 😉

Twas an awesome night, cheers all 🙂

The Story of Game Dev

February 10, 2011

It’s the end of an era. Twenty years ago a small games company began generating high quality games on a budget. From these humble beginnings they grew into a large development company selling over 400 million games worldwide. This company has now closed netting $717,844,500 for the owners.

The best game created was a Life Dating series called Game #50. The first in this series sold over 16million copies, with the second (Game #502) becoming the best selling game in this companies career selling more than double this figure. The third game in this series, while less popular than the second, still sold a very respectable 24 million units. This series accounted for $208,599,300 of the total profits during the life of the company. It also netted 2 “best game” awards in the yearly gamedex awards.

The Bumflap console, launched by this company sold over 12 million units. These stats clearly mean that every console owner bought 3 copies each of Game #502.

This company was GayfishGames. A new company will soon rise from the ashes to try and beat those scores 😉

I like Biffy Clyro. I also like their song “Many of Horror”, released in 2009. Those of you that know where this is going, you’ve been forewarned.

I have recently (literally past few minutes) been introduced to the musical talent of Matt Cardle. He was the X-Factor winner and Christmas number 1 for 2010. His song “When we collide” is brilliant. This is because it’s the SAME SONG!

Ranting and raving about the X-Factor is fairly commonplace when it is enforced upon me. I don’t watch it by choice and I am by no means an expert on the subject of becoming a musician (Steve will vouch for this I’m sure :P).

However!* Surely it is at the very least morally reasonable to assume that if you are going to cover a song  that you at least call it by the same name. This to me makes it look like he** is trying to lay claim on the song as a whole, because anyone that has not heard the original and who searches for this is not even going to come up with the original artist.

It’s bad enough that they cover a song every christmas anyway, why not wait until you have actually written something yourself before releasing a record?

I’d love to know if there really is a proper reason why this is so often done, so if anyone out there knows, please enlighten this poor angry soul. Until then I am forced to assume it is just money grabbing tactics from the global enterprise fronted by Mr Simon Cowell.

* and for those pedantic bar-stewards amongst you, that is a perfectly valid sentence when used to accentuate a point

** I say he… I know in interviews and such he claims that it was not his decision to change the song name, but let’s be honest, it’s his name on the CD so whoever is at fault I’m blaming him (and Cowell of course)

I have survived another trip to France in the form of Snowtour 2011, the yearly, never uneventful board-fest of awesome that I cannot do without.

This past week I have

  • experienced a 17 hour coach ride full of vomitty lil bastards from HP Bracknell
  • obtained 4 hours of free lessons without the need for much sneakiness
  • dramatically wiped out a skier (which was totally his fault!)
  • spent a large proportion of my time with my right foot forward (WTF!)
  • mastered the execution of a 360 flatspin
  • mastered attempted and often occasionally rarely succeeded in executing a 360 manual
  • got chased down a closing slope by an angry french skier
  • saw something so horrible I wish I could un-see it
  • had a 13 euro glass of cognac
  • had a ride in the boot of a SUV thing with a broken tailgate (along with 6 other people)
  • achieved 2nd place in a high speed group ski / board that was definitely not a race
  • spent 45 minutes in a menthol sauna (hammam allegedly… but not like the hammam in Morocco)
  • drove a go-kart on ice (mostly sideways)
  • dressed up as a pencil
  • did 13 press-ups while dressed as a pencil
  • received at least 6 requests for photo + hug from random french girls while dressed as a pencil
  • got threatened with murder by a french man if i didn’t turn up to the snowpark the following day still dressed as a pencil (I didn’t go)
  • slept with a banana
  • had an amazing burger and pint at a belgian bar
  • made effective use of 15 bulldog clips to decorate Fi’s hoodie
  • won “trip person” trophy 😀

More stuff probably happened, but those were some of the numerous highlights 🙂

Photographic evidence of most of this will be provided in due course 😉

The Book of EliPod

September 15, 2010

My opinion of “in film” advertising is well known. But for those that haven’t heard this rant, here we go again!

I tolerate pre-film adverts. I have come to think of them as a necessary evil, allowing the film industry to gain more money (although I realise this is an idealistic view and actually it all probably goes into the pockets of someone wholly irrelevant). I don’t include trailers in the “evil” category as these are intended to show me other films I might want to see = win. The exceptions of course are twilight and harry potter, both of these count as adverts rather than trailers ;).

When it comes to adverts actually IN the movies, that’s what really gets on my nerves. Sometimes it is very subtle, or is simply showing a modern day scene that happens to have a Mac / iPhone / iPod / Xbox / whatever in the scene, unobnoxiously and there is no direct reference to it, either through dialogue or through “look at me” brightness against a dull film background. This too is almost acceptable were it not for the fact that if I notice it, I instantly assume that they have paid money to be in the film, which makes me angry. It makes me angry because I have paid to see a film, not a 2 hour advert for something.

When it is not so subtle, I get so pissed off I want to switch the film off (to the point where if I had gone to see “the book of eli” in cinemas I would have walked out and demanded my money back!) This film is set in a post-apocalyptic future, food and water are scarce, surviving is a priority. Inhibiting your hearing by listening to an iPod while you sleep is not! He awakes, and lo and behold his iPod has run out of battery as he has slept with it on. He approaches a town, and the first thing that happens? he looks for somewhere that will charge his portable battery! Not food, not water (water is his second stop). Now I could have gotten this wrong, but there is no other electronic equipment carried during this film, so what other purpose could he have for trading for this service. Not least, he gets attacked and escapes, but makes sure to pick up his battery before leaving, thus getting him caught up in another fight. An entire subplot showing the trials and tribulations of getting your iPod charged in a post-apocalyptic future. This makes me angry.

Similar examples are Blade 3, where a human vampire hunter decides that “playlisting” on iTunes on her Mac and syncing it with her iPod before going to fight vampires and therefore also impeding her senses was a good idea. This film also felt it necessary to show a close up of the iTunes interface for good measure.

I,Robot where the first thing out of Mr Sellout Smith’s mouth was about his trainers, not to mention a light-hearted comment by the older generation about “what you’re wearing on your feet”. The reply to which as we all remember is “Converse All Stars Vintage 2004”. That’s not even to mention the Fed-Ex robot, and the futuristic Audi with a close up of the badge etc etc.

If you look back, it’s a time-honoured thing, a great many “classics” have advertising in them, but at least in the past this was restricted to the background. Film producers… if you’re adding extra dialogue to advertise a product, it has gone too far. If you’re creating extra scenes to fit it in, you’re going too far. If the actions of the characters are affected by the advertising product, you’ve gone too far.

Time this was sorted out.