Posted by: bluefoxy | April 20, 2014

Spoke About Etherow

Sooo not a whole lot happened this last week…

I went for a bit of a ride on my bike on Friday, up to the “giant’s money-box”, round the back path behind Reddish Vale, to Tiviot Way, then up round the back of where my dad’s mom used to live, then back home again.
It was an alright little jaunt.

Then earlier today my parents and I went for a walk round Etherow country park.
I didn’t take me camera coz I remembered the battery needed charging on it…but my dad took his.
We saw some of those nice mandarin ducks, plus a dipper flitting back and forth between some rapids and a ledge where we think it’s got a nest fulla babies.
We also saw a lone Great Crested Grebe.

Oh and I don’t think I told you about my problems with Skype yet, have I?
See, it was pretty much ever since I had to have my laptop’s motherboard replaced…my stupid Norton anti-virus was blocking Skype so I couldn’t use it.
Then about a couple of months ago I discovered I had a Skype feed on my Outlook inbox which worked to aaaa…certain degree. Well enough for me to set up a meeting with Luna last week anyway.
Well just yesterday I was relaying my Skype problems to a friend on SL and they told me about a IM provider called Trillian that apparently you could use to talk to people on Skype with.
So I got it…and wouldn’t you know? It worked like a charm! It’s just like having Skype back again! Yay!
That’s about it.

What I hope I’ll have myself doing tomorrow is buckle down and;
1) Write up a couple of letters, one to Imagine FM and another to BBC Radio Manchester, ask ‘em if they’re interested in taking me on.
2) Find some job vacancies to apply to…remember to print off some screen shots of the application pages to show to the joke shop on Wednesday.

Weight Check!
Last week’s weight; 16 stone 7, 105.0 kg, 231.4 lb
This week’s weight; 16 stone 11, 106.8 kg, 235.4 lb

Goddammit.

That’s all for this week. So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox.

Posted by: bluefoxy | April 13, 2014

The Very Late In The Day Blog Update

I’ll get to why this blog update is being posted so late in the day in due course of time…I wanna get the stuff that happened through the rest of this past week out of the way first.

So the guy who signed me on at the jobcenter this past Wednesday didn’t ask for any evidence of what I’ve applied for…which is great coz I couldn’t get any evidence for the places I wrote down, which were places my parents and I passed by on our way back from our trip down Marple Lakes last Sunday…all places I hadn’t applied to in a while.

Anyway he then explained to me that they wanted to eventually worm everyone on over to using purely Universal Jobsmatch to log their jobsearch and apply evidence.
I hardly ever log on to UJ coz it’s a useless piece of junk. I know I’ve ranted about this before, but EFF it, I’ll rant again.
First of all, most of the vacancies don’t even tell you what company is advertising…it always says something like “Company Confidential” or “Vision Focus Group” or “Come On Get On Group”
Second of all, virtually none of the vacancies have an “apply” button, for you to click, which is supposed to log in UJ that you’re applying or have applied to that job. The few that do? The button just takes you to an external website and doesn’t log that you’re applying there.
Third of all…uhhh…hmmm…I KNOW I had a third thing about UJ to rant about but it escapes my memory.

I’m the lord and master of all daft ducks…and I prove it through some of my daft duckish actions.
This last Friday evening I cooked myself up some Chips, Fish Fingers and Mushy Peas.
Now, I like Salt, Vinegar and Sauce on my Chips and Fish Fingers…I put the Salt on, no problem…but then I go to put the Vinegar on…
Now, we have a Vinegar shaker that we put our Vinegar in…you know, with the special cap with the little hole in the middle to make it so you shake it out in little drops.
For some strange reason I decide to unscrew this cap and then try to shake the Vinegar on me chips.
So you might imagine a whole sloshing of vinegar saturated my meal…fortunately most of it drained right off and my meal wasn’t ruined.
I swear, sometimes I wish I had some kind of minder to watch over me and yell “STOP” when I’m about to do something dumb.

My progress with getting all the achievements on Infamous 1 has been steady…I completed the story once and now have started anew with it again coz obviously you can’t get everything in one play through and you learn things like the fact that one of the 300-or-so blast shards you need to find is booby-trapped in a dude’s locker and you have to heal him and let him defuse the locker.

Alright I think that about covers everything, now to why this blog update is so late.
See, the other day, I was checking my Outlook e-mail inbox when my Skype feed on there flashed up saying I got a message.
It was Luna! My one real life friend who keeps disappearing for ages on end!
She wanted to meet up in real life and catch up on what’s new. I was like “Heck, yeah!” so we arranged to meet this morning at 10 AM at our usual spot.
She told me to contact her when I was a few minutes away so she could set off too because apparently she lived somewhere very close to the town center.
So I set off…and sent her a text when I was about 5 minutes out…arrived at our usual spot at about 10 and waited for her to show up…
…half an hour later, no sign, I start to get impatient and try to call her…and get an answering machine. So I leave a message.
A further half-hour later I get sick of waiting and headed home.
I boot up my computer, go on my Outlook inbox, check my e-mails…then, on a whim, decide to check my Skype feed.
There she was online. So I poke her and ask what happened.
Her fail memory of doom, which much is like my own none-too-reliable-at-the-best-of-times memory only much, much worse, hasn’t gotten any better.
Also…her phone was dead…she forgot to charge it.
So we tried again after she convinced me to come right away with the offer of extra hugs.
This time with much more successful results. She actually popped out of a side-street about 40 feet in front of me when I was headed down the A6 after utilising my short-cut.
We wandered around town a bit talking about this and that and what have you, then she took me back to her new abode.
She has this second-floor apartment in a two-floor council house apartment building…one of many in a block among other blocks of the same thing.
So she was showing me her Princess Luna (from MLP) cosplay…and how the ears and horn kept falling out…and then we were bored and didn’t know what to do…then she had the idea of me playing a game on her boyfriends computer with her on her laptop.
We ended up playing Minecraft. At last I got to experience Minecraft first-paw. Coz there’s no way this hunk of junk laptop can support a game that big…it can barely support Second Life!
When I told her I was waiting to get the PS4 version, she was like “don’t bother, console version sucks, get the PC version when you get a better PC.” And I was like “m’okay.”

Boy did I get caught up in the game, though. We played until…oooh, it must have been around about half 6 or something like that because I remember walking home as it was getting on for 7 ‘o’clock.
She told me that, now that I know where she is, I can call in on her if I feel she’s disappeared too long again…but probably best to send a text ahead first coz she might be at work when I suddenly decide to drop in.

Alrighty, then…weight check!
Last week’s weight; 16 stone 11, 106.9 kg, 235.6 lb
This week’s weight; 16 stone 7, 105.0 kg, 231.4 lb

That reminds me…one of my close friends on Second life asked me how much I weigh…and when I told them they were like “that’s not too bad.”…mind you, they’re way over in America…and I think “obese” there and “obese” here are two different things.

On the subject of Second Life, I got a new Second Life Job. A new club opened up, and that selfsame friend took me there, and they were looking for hosts obviously. I liked the look of the place…it had a very promising crowd there when I first went, and amongst the crowd there were good people who already knew me…and I happened to mention in Local chat that I might like to work there.
This prompted the head host that was present to pounce on me and hire me on the spot…because the people who knew me knew I was this uber epically awesome club host and were giving me shining recommendations all the while.
From discovering a new club to being a part of its staff, all in one day. Oh yeah, I’m THAT good.

I think that’s all I have to tell y’all about for this week…

So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

Posted by: bluefoxy | April 6, 2014

Evidence Of Extreme Variety

So all I really gleamed from the group session and the one-on-one interview at the joke shop (jobcenter) was that all that was going to be diffrent with my jobsearching efforts was a new booklet in which I am supposed to write down things I’m going to do, rather than things I have done which is what my jobslog is for.

Then my mum had a look at this booklet and pointed out that it said I was also supposed to somehow provide evidence of the jobs I’ve applied for.
That’s juuuuust peachy. I mighta known they wouldn’t make it easy for me anymore.

On Tuesday I finally managed to get that blasted Extreme Variety bonus in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood multiplayer, promptly earning me the final trophy I needed and, in turn, the illustrious Platinum Trophy.
I totally wasn’t expecting it either. It kinda just popped up outta nowhere. It was during a round where I thought I was doing somewhat okay but not brilliantly.
I had just earned an Escape bonus and my target was right there in front of me, so I poisoned them whilst being hidden in a crowd, earning me a Chain bonus for getting an escape and a kill in rapid succession.
Then it popped up. Extreme Variety.
I was pleasently surprised to say the least. Finally I could move on from AC;Brotherhood.

And so I did. I’m now playing InFamous 1, working on collecting all the achievements in that. Shouldn’t be too difficult, it’s purely a story game with no multiplayer.
Soon as I Platinum Trophy InFamous 1, I’ll move right on to InFamous 2 and work on Platinum Trophy-ing that too.

This last Thursday was my mum’s birthday…( Huh…I thought her birthday was later on in the month… )…and she had managed to get Thursday and Friday off work. So she and I decided to go on the train down to Buxton, have a look round, and have a cup of tea and something to eat in a café.
My mum paid for the train tickets, and when we ate at the Café, I paid for our meal.
It was quite a fun day out…though it was quite misty in Buxton the whole time we were there. I’ve never seen a mist or fog linger for a whole day before…though Buxton is pretty high up in the hills so I’m not surprised mist and fog is more prevelant than it would be round where I live.

Earlier today my parents and I decided to go on a day out down Marple lakes.
We found some folks doing a Time Team and my dad got talking with one of them. After a while my mum and I agreed to leave him to it and continue on to the café located further along the road.
There really isn’t that much to see at Marple lakes, but a nice day out is a nice day out. Something to do rather than spend all my time in front of the computer.

Weight Check!
Last week’s weight; 17 stone 0, 108.0 kg, 238.0 lb
This week’s weight; 16 stone 11, 106.9 kg 235.6 lb

Hmm.

I think that’s all I have to tell y’all about for this week…

So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

Posted by: bluefoxy | March 30, 2014

It’s A Complete Joke

The whole idea of me ever getting a job that is…but I have to at least look like I’m still trying or the jobcenter takes away my benefits and I will never be able to buy all the things on my list of things I need to buy.

So with Seetec now behind us, this last Wednesday I was told I am to attend a group session at the jobcenter with a few other failure cases, and then on April fool’s day, of all days, I got a one-on-one interview with my on advisor.

So we shall see what they say on the day.

What’s also a complete joke is how difficult “Extreme Variety” is proving to be on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood multiplayer. The good news is the times when I get close to it seem to be occurring a bit more frequently…and there are signs I am improving as a player in general, even during the slumps in my fluctuating skill level.

The bad news is I still keep running out of time. Like one time…I think it was this last Tuesday…I was once again just one unique bonus away…and I think I had 3 pursuers on me…and I spotted two of them sneaking up, so I legged it halfway across the map, then one of them threw some throwing knives at me…but it was clear those would wear off before they could get to me…so both pursuers were running up, which triggered a chase on me…I had a chance at a double escape on my hands…all I needed to do was break line of sight and hide somewhere for a few seconds…only trouble was, there was only a few seconds left in the round.
In hindsight I probably coulda hidden sooner than I did if I’d taken the more immediate hiding spots to where I was, and maybe, just maybe I coulda squeezed that double escape in…but, eh…panic of the moment, y’know?

I’m gonna get that darn last bonus if it’s the last thing I do. I’m getting closer every time. I can practically taste it. Heck, there must be some kinda miracle for it to evade me this long…I swear to god there’s a couple of occasions where I coulda SWORN I had the 15 bonuses…like this one other time when it turned out by looking at the session score after the round that all I was missing was a focus bonus…oooh, and I coulda got it too if I’d had focused my last kill of the round, which was a very sneaky acrobatic kill.

Earlier today my parents and I decided to go on a day out…originally we were going to go to Chadkirk to have a walk round there, but then me mum said one of her friends said there were road works on the road down to Chadkirk.
So then my dad suggested Higher Poynton since he and mum hadn’t bi there for yonks, and while I’d been already the other week I didn’t really walk round the place much.
So then we were out on the road in his car when they suddenly changed their minds again and we ended up walking round Vernon Park instead.
Nothing particularly special about Vernon Park but still it was a pretty nice day out.

Weight Check!

Last week’s weight; 16 stone 11, 106.8 kg, 235.4 lb.
This week’s weight; 17 stone 0, 108.0 kg, 238.0 lb.

Oh, I GIVE UP!
Rarity Gives Up

Seriously, where in Celestia’s name do I keep getting all this weight from?

Bah. Until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

Posted by: bluefoxy | March 23, 2014

The End Of The Beginning

I was right. The re-booked Seetec review on the 20th as indeed my last appointment with them. My contract ends on the 26th, my advisor told me.
So now we gotta wait and see what the joke shop (jobcenter) has in store for me next.

At the beginning of this week, I managed to get one of the two achievements in AC:Brotherhood I’ve been rattling on about…the one for getting every team bonus in a single round of a team game. I’d already gotten all the defensive team bonuses, including the tricky one…and I realized I could try to force the tricky offensive team bonus as well by triggering a chase and letting a teammate intercept the fleeing target…so I tried it…and it worked! So then it was just a simple case of getting the easy offensive team bonuses…of which I got about half a dozen over the rest of the round.

I’m definitely closing in on the other achievement too. I’m getting closer and closer to Extreme Variety with every round that I’m doing awesome in.
In one round, again at the beginning of the week, I knew I was only one bonus away…and I knew of the bonuses I hadn’t got during the round, one of them was a bonus called “discreet” which is to do with how I approached my target. You get it for running up to your target a bit and running down your detection meter about halfway or more without triggering a chase.
So it was down to the last 30 seconds of the round, only enough time for my last assigned target…who I found standing next to a lookalike halfway down an alley.
Unfortunately I still have trouble telling my actual target from lookalikes, so it all boiled down to a 50-50 shot at getting it right…and I guessed wrong. Dangit.

Then there was another round just yesterday…again, I was down to one last bonus…with plenty of time to spare this time…but I couldn’t think of which bonus to get to complete the list…I was hoping maybe I could get “Intercepted” for another player killing a target I poisoned before the poison can take effect, but for the rest of the round I don’t think I ever got a target with another pursuer.

Mark my words, I’m gonna get that darn Extreme Variety bonus…it can’t outrun the peaks of my fluctuating skill forever!

Weight Check!
Last week’s weight; 16 stone 7, 105.2 kg, 231.9 lb.
This week’s weight; 16 stone 11, 106.8 kg, 235.4 lb.

I think last week was probably a false or faulty reading. Those can happen sometimes.

I think that’s all I have to tell y’all about for this week…

So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

Posted by: bluefoxy | March 16, 2014

Fishy Goings On In The Fog

It’s looking very likely that I am coming to the end of my 2-year term with Seetec with what is hopefully one last review.
Now, it was originally going to occur on the 5th of March…but then I got a letter in the post at the end of February, and I read it as telling me they re-booked it to this last Tuesday at 11 am.
So I went to Seetec on Tuesday, arrived at 11, saying I had a review…but the receptionist said she couldn’t find me on their records, so she called for a guy to check my file and then come round.
According to their system, I’m not supposed to be having my review until the 20th, again at 11 am.
Hm. Maybe I read the letter wrong.

Thursday had a very foggy morning. We couldn’t see past halfway down the street. I don’t remember having a fog quite that bad before.

Friday as a pretty nice day and I decided to make the most of it and have a walk round our local nature reserve.
I took my camera with me, just in case…and boy was I glad I did. I managed to get some pretty sweet photographs.

Here’s a few of the better ones;

Obligatory Blackbird
One Of The Herons Is Back
Obligatory Great Flit
Robin In A Tree 1
Robin On The Fence 1
Robin On The Fence 2
Robin In A Tree 2
Stunning Swan
Grey Wagtail On Slate Roof
This Thrush Was In No Rush.
A Nuthatch! Don't See One Of Them Every Day!

And then there’s this series of pictures that kind of tell a bit of a story;

Hey, It's a Great Crested Grebe!
And A Handsome Chappie He Is Too.
TWO?!?
Just Getting Dinner, Dear.
Oop. Butterbeak. Dropped it.
Fish Get.
There You Go Dear, Eat Up!

So they’re definitely courting. We occasionally have a courting pair there, but we’ve never seen babies. I think they’ve all had some misfortune or other. Fingers crossed for this year, eh?

SOPA is back again. I spotted a post about it on Tumblr. Man those copyright fat cats just don’t know when to quit, do they?
Okay, internet, you know the drill.

Weight check!
Last week’s weight; 16 stone 10, 106.3 kg, 234.3 lb.
This week’s weight; 16 stone 4, 103.8 kg, 228.8 lb.

*Big Intake Of Breath*

Am…am I reading this right?
Di…did someone tamper with my scales or something?
How di…
…coz I’ve never dropped THAT much before…
…no…this has gotta be a false reading or something…do over!

16 stone 7, 105.2 kg, 231.9 lb.

Hmmm…okay, I’m really beginning to wonder about the ability of my bathroom scales to give an accurate reading…accurate readings would really help me with shedding the pounds, y’know?

Well, I think that’s all I have to tell y’all about for this week…

So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

Posted by: bluefoxy | March 9, 2014

Sofa So Unobtainable

On Monday my dad called upon my able-bodied assistance with a sofa he had to chuck in the tip.
It was a perfectly alright sofa except for the fact that it was lacking in the fire safety tag department…so I guess there’s some kinda fire safety law saying we gotta get rid of it.
So on the original assumption we were just out to get rid of an unsafe sofa and nothing more, I didn’t think I needed my wallet, so I didn’t bring it.

Then, sometime during the journey to the tip, my dad mentioned we needed some bread but he wasn’t sure he had the money for it…by that point my absent-mindedness had kicked in and I’d completely forgotten I didn’t have my wallet on me, so I offered to get the bread, so dad said he would drop me off at the Morrisons down the road from our house on his way to pick up a couple of his drinking buddies.

So we drop the sofa off in the burnable waste portion of the tip, he then drives me to Morrisons and sez he would pick me up from there on his way back home.

So there I was out in front of Morrisons, and I feel for my wallet in my coat pocket, and of course it’s not there, and it dawns on me that I didn’t bring it.
D'oh!

So I walked all the way home, grabbed my wallet, and then headed up to the nearby corner shop and got a couple of loafs from there, and a couple of four-pinters of milk while I was at it…coz the local corner shop has an offer of 1 4-pint milk and 1 loaf together for £2, so I got 2 milks and 2 breads for 4 quid! Not bad, eh?

I pay with a tenner and the clerk gives me £6 change and as I grab it off him the pound coin slips off the fiver, falls on the floor, and rolls between my feet and off somewhere behind me, and both I and the clerk lose track of where it goes, so we spent about 5 minutes searching the area until he finds it under a low shelf where he keeps the newspapers.

Then I head home again and put the milk and bread in their respective places and was just about to ring me dad and tell him to not bother looking for me at Morrisons when he arrives home in his car and parks it in the driveway out front.

So I had to explain to him about not having my wallet and yadda yadda yadda.

I should have learned my lesson by now…I should always bring me wallet with me whenever I go out, regardless of whether I think I need it or not, coz chances are something will come up that will require monehz.

Tuesday was a mighty fine day indeed. Fine enough for me to venture out into the world and head on over to Higher Poynton.
My original plan was to take the bus to Poynton town and walk to Higher Poynton from there…so I hopped on the bus from home and got me a dayrider ticket.
But once I got to the bus station and had a look at where the bus to Poynton town embarked from, I found out it was run by a different operator to the one I got the dayrider from.
Bugger. Well, I wasn’t gonna pay extra for another bus…so I had a bit of a brain wave. I knew the bus operator my dayrider ticket was valid for had a service to a place called Rose Hill, where a path called Middlewood Way begins…and I knew that somewhere around the middle of Middlewood Way sits Higher Poynton.
It was quite a trek…about the distance I expected actually.
Once I got to Higher Poynton I found the Café there was shut…bummer…so after having a sit down and a rest, I continued round to Poynton town…I stopped there to have a nosey in the charity shops…found a copy of Worms: Armageddon in one of them.

Then I walked up the main road towards Hazel Grove and stopped in at Brookside Garden Center along the way. Unfortunately they weren’t running their miniature railway…a sign said they only did it on weekends and, from April onwards, Wednesdays too.
But I found an awesome looking little fox statuette going for three-pound-odd so I thought, why not?

And then I walked further along to the 192 bus terminus at the end of the road and took the 192 back to Stockport then a bus from Stockport to home.

When I showed my mum the little fox statuette she was all “What can we name it?” And I was like “I hadn’t thought to name it yet” and she was all “You got him from Brookside…how about Brookie?” And I was like “Brookie…that sounds good…no wait…I got a better one…Brooke!”

So for the rest of the week I decided to take a break from Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood multiplayer, in the hopes that returning with some fresh eyes might yield better skill, and played my newly acquired copy of Worms: Armageddon.

I remember having a copy of Worms: Armageddon before…but I lost that copy at some point. It was great to find a fresh one.
I remember Worms: Armageddon being a pretty fun game…but I’d clearly forgotten exactly how fun because I ended up finding hours of enjoyment from watching those little pink worms being blown sky-high!
Haaaaallelujah! *BOOM!*

I eventually got bored with it though and yesterday decided to return to AC;B and see if I do any better than I did.
Nope. About the same as I was before. Extreme Variety still remaining extremely elusive.

Weight Check!
Last week’s weight; 16 stone 9, 106.1 kg, 233.9 lb.
This week’s weight; 16 stone 10, 106.3 kg, 234.3 lb.
Aaand back up again. Goddamnit.

Well, I think that’s all I have to tell y’all about for this week…

So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

Posted by: bluefoxy | March 2, 2014

No Extreme Variety

What I put in my title is a pretty good description of my life as it currently stands. No extreme variety. Barely any variety at all, in fact.

But it’s also part of my status on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. I have all but two of the trophies required to Platinum Trophy it, and I’m determined to get that Platinum Trophy before I move on to other games.

One of the two trophies required is to get every single type of multiplayer bonus…(the kill bonuses, the action bonuses, the team bonuses, and the other miscellaneous bonuses) once.
And I know for a fact that I have acquired all but one.
It’s a bonus called “Extreme Variety”…you get it for picking up 15 other bonuses in a single multiplayer match, not counting plain “Variety” for 5 bonuses or “Greater Variety” for 10 bonuses.
Extreme Variety is proving extremely hard for me to get…and it doesn’t help that my skill on multiplayer seems to greatly vary match-to-match. I can never be particularly consistent with how good or bad a player I am…I could be amazing one round, and then absolutely suck complete smelly butt hole the next.
But on the odd occasion when I’m doing amazing I do cross off various unique bonuses on my way to Extreme Variety, and lord knows I’ve definitely collected a few “Greater Variety” bonuses along the way, but “Extreme Variety” continues to remain just out of reach.
There’s at least one or two occasions where I just KNOW I’ve come EXTREMELY close to it…like, one or two unique bonuses away…but then I just can’t seem to catch a break with setting up the last bonuses I need, and I run out of time.
It’s very frustrating…and while my player skill fluctuates, other players just seem to be consistently better than me.
When I’m hiding from my pursuers, usually I’m blended in a crowd I morphed into a pack of look-alikes surrounding me…yet, nine times out of ten, my pursuer somehow automatically correctly guesses which one is me and picks me off outta the group.
Whenever I come across a target blended with lookalikes, or even when there’s them with only one lookalike there, I can never guess it right, unless they somehow give themselves away.
Then, when I’m stalking my target, either one of my pursuers just comes outta nowhere and takes me out, or my target spots me sneaking up and either uses a smoke bomb or mute to incapacitate me and then they stun me so I lose them as a contract.
Sometimes my target would even spot me literally from a mile away and run off, leaving me with very little hope of catching them.
And then there’s the times where they just catch me being a dozy EFF, unaware I even had a pursuer, until I get taken down…or I can’t quite figure out where, exactly, my target is for some reason, and suddenly they stun me from out of a crowd or something.
I’m beginning to think I’m never gonna be able to get “Extreme Variety” legitimately…or at least not unless some consistently skilled pro takes me under their wing and teaches me how to be more consistently good so I’d have more of a chance.

The other trophy is one for getting every single team bonus in a single round of a team game. There’s not that many team bonuses, really, but getting them all in one round requires some co-ordination with your team and a bit of luck, really…both things that I’m finding to be in short supply…a lot of the players in AC;B multiplayer don’t really play it as a team game and kind of go off and do their own thing.

I dunno…maybe one round I’ll get lucky and find myself able to get those 15 bonuses needed for the trophy…and maybe one team game I’ll get lucky again and acquire all the team bonuses.

So, other than getting frustrated in AC;B multiplayer, what else have I been up to?
Not a lot is the answer to that…though yesterday was a nice day and my mum and I managed to make the most of it by going on a pleasant little jaunt round our local nature reserve, Reddish Vale.
Neither of us bothered to take a camera with us…and of course a load of not-particularly-common-to-very-rare birds decided to come out to play, including what I believe to be a Great Crested Grebe, what was definitely a cute little Wren, and a fleeting glimpse of what looked suspiciously like a Reed Bunting.
They just KNOW when you’ve got a camera and when you haven’t. They’re crafty little blighters like that.

Weight Check!
Last week’s weight; 16 stone 10, 106.2 kg, 234.1 lb.
This week’s weight; 16 stone 9, 106.1 kg, 233.9 lb.
Not much of a drop, but every little helps, I guess.

I think that’s all I have to tell y’all about for this week…

So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

Posted by: bluefoxy | February 23, 2014

German Graphite Contact

Yeah…the title makes it sound like I know a guy in Germany who can get me graphite if ever I need it.
A rather specific material…but I suppose it could be useful if, say, I need to make my own line of pencils…special “Blue Fox” ones to sell to my more hardcore fans.

But that is not the case. All will be clear when I explain the three things of note that happened to me this past week.

The first thing was on Monday evening, as I was hosting my regular Monday evening shift at Club Zero…now, the DJ who spins the set as I host it is german, and he usually has a handful of fellow germans coming to listen to his choice of music.
Now, I don’t know much german. I only know, like, two or three words or phrases, such as;
“Guten Tag”, which is Good Day.
“Guten Morgen”, which is Good Morning.
“Gesundheit”, which is God Bless You. They say it all the time in cartoons whenever someone sneezes.
and “Himmel”, which I believe to be “Drat” or “Darn” or some such profanity.
I only know that last one from a Giles cartoon where a couple of German war officers are ducked down behind some concrete or something and one of them spots a group of tourists, and he says “Himmel! Tourists!”

Anyway, I randomly asked the crowd “I wonder what ‘Fox’ is in German?”
One of the germans replied “Fuchs”.
And it didn’t take long for us all to comment on the fact that it’s similar to a rather more obscene english word.
Even my mum made a remark about being careful with one’s pronunciation when I told her about it afterwards.

The second thing is something I learned off a documentary the other day.
The documentary was about an attempt to smash the world record for the world’s fastest train ever with a new one they made in France called the AGV.
The documentary looked back in time through the big advancements in rail locomotion that led to this record-breaking train being built.
Of course George Stephenson’s “Rocket” got pride of place of being the first thing mentioned, as of course it laid the foundation for train travel as we know it today.
And I am extremely happy of the fact they put in a bit about Sir Nigel Gresley’s A4 pacifics introducing streamline shapes to trains and, specifically, “Mallard” claiming the prize of the world’s fastest steam locomotive and keeping it forevermore.

Anyway, as the show went on, they started talking about the french AGV’s pantograph and the fact that it collects electricity from overhead lines.
They pointed out that the material they use for the part of the pantograph that actually touches the electrified wire is a tough material called “graphite”.
I’m already well aware of graphite’s toughness, but what surprised me is the revelation that it was actually an efficient conductor of electricity.
Huh. I never would have guessed graphite would be a good material for conducting electricity into a train. I would have thought graphite was rubbish at conducting electricity.
Definitely a “you learn something new every day” moment.
So, all people out there on the internet, be careful of live electrical wires in the vicinity whenever you use a pencil.

So that covers the “German” and the “Graphite” part of my title…what about the “Contact” part?

Well, the “Contact” part of my title is all to do with my PS3…specifically, its controllers.
See, while I was trying to play some multiplayer Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, I noticed my character was going in directions that I wasn’t commanding him to. I would have my fingers completely off the controller, and he would move off to the right and/or back towards the camera.
At some points it was so bad that he even fought any controller inputs I actually made.
So I looked up the problem on the internet…Googling “PS3 troubleshooting; uncommanded directions” or something like that and found that I wasn’t the only one who had this trouble…and fellow gamers explained that the solution was to take apart the PS3 controller and clean a couple of contact strips inside using a cotton bud.
So that’s what I did…my dad also put in his two cents of using a spray-on cleaning fluid he had to help with the cleaning.

The actual cleaning of the contacts was the easy part…the hard part was subsequently re-assembling the controller…getting the case back on without knocking the shoulder buttons out of alignment or even clean off their housings was proving an extremely difficult task.
But after much trail and error, I succeeded, and my controllers are working beautifully with no sign of the previous uncommanded character actions.
I now know what to do if the trouble ever starts again.

Weight Check!
Last week’s weight; 16 stone 11, 106.8 kg, 235.4 lb
This week’s weight; 16 stone 10, 106.2 kg, 234.1 lb.
Huh. I actually shed a little somehow…but I’m still a great lump of fatty, fatty, fat-fat. Urgh…

I think that’s all I have to tell y’all about for this week…

So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

Posted by: bluefoxy | February 16, 2014

Nothing And Nowhere

Eh…this past week’s weather was too changeable to risk attempting to go out to Higher Poynton like I planned.
Also I had no idea if there was a bus going there anymore or not. There used to be, definitely.
After Wednesday’s Jobcenter sign-on appointment, I had a look at one of the destination boards at the bus station to see if there was still a service, but I didn’t see one.

There are services to Poynton town…and Higher Poynton is not too far a-walk from there…but again, the weather was too changeable to risk it.

I did start doing some more regular excersize though…On Monday, Tuesday and Friday I did some sort of abdominal crunches that a friend in Second Life told me about. They’re easier than sit-ups but still rather a bit of effort.

I also walked to the jobcenter on Wednesday despite the fact that I got caught in heavy rain and winds so strong they blew my umbrella inside-out despite my efforts to prevent that…and I couldn’t fix it ’till I got to the shelter of the jobcenter out of the wind.

Today is nice and sunny though. My parents might feel like going somewhere for a walk later on this afternoon.

Weight check!
Last week’s weight; 16 stone 9, 106.0 kg, 233.6 lb.
This week’s weight; 16 stone 11, 106.8 kg, 235.4 lb

Okay, seriously, where the cuss am I getting all this weight from? This is getting ridiculous.

I think that’s all I have to tell y’all about for this week…

So, until next week…

Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox Thom

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