Euro Trucker

I thought i would post a little bit about the various games i am currently enjoying. I understand this is somewhat different to my usual posts but if you want to get a little more in depth on my current gaming this is for you! I will be posting about modding some games too where appropriate, though these will not be tutorials as they are already prevalent and almost definitely explained better by others anyway!

I have been spending some time recently with SCS Software’s Euro Truck Simulator 2.

The act of driving the highways of Europe ferrying cargo from place to place doesn’t sound exciting i agree and i was sceptical at first but the game came on a good sale and i thought i would give it a go.

I’m glad i did, there is something relaxing about just driving with some music on. This kept me occupied for a little while but then i discovered mods…

The biggest mod i use is Promods, which adds a ton of new roads and cities to the base game.

I also use the following mods which i highly recommend:

Grimes Seasonal (currently Summer)
Sound Fixes Pack
Romania Extended
Real European Gas Stations (Steam Workshop)
City Lighting (Steam Workshop)
Realistic Vehicle Lights (Steam Workshop)
DP Realistic Traffic (Steam Workshop)
Jazzycat’s Trailer & Cargo Pack, Painted Truck, Bus Traffic and AI Traffic
Sisl’s Trailer Pack & Cabin Accessories (Steam Workshop)
Rusmap
Promods, Promods Cabin Accessories and Trailer & Company Pack (click Downloads drop down menu. You will need a free account to download promods and there is an option to pay a pound for a faster download which i recommend, otherwise you need to download the main mod in parts, but it is free).

All Steam workshop mods can be found by searching the ETS2 workshop, when you find it just subscribe to it and activate it in ETS2’s mod manager (check your load order!).

It took some trial and error and many, many crashes to desktop before i got my load order working almost flawlessly (I do have a small issue with the city locations on the map being offset which i have been unable to fix, so if anyone reading this plays ETS2 with a similar mod setup and has fixed this problem, i am all ears!). I am pleased to say it was all worth it in the end as the game is absolutely huge and is now twice the size with the map mods! I also like listening to TruckersFM and Simulator Radio though i do have a couple of my own albums in there too if i fancy some George Thorogood or Classic Chillout depending on my mood!

It took me some time to set up the controls to my liking as i use a Xbox 360 controller (i know that’s terrible but i didn’t get on too well with my wheel and pedals due to the angle my desk is at). There’s a ton of options to tweak from changing the myriad graphics and sound options to control inputs and keys/buttons, so you can set it up exactly how you want it, my setup may not work for you and vice verca.

So all in all, give this game a try and you may surprise yourself! try a couple of mods first to change things up a bit and Happy Trucking!

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July 2019 Already?!

We are here in July 2019 already.

Where has this year gone? With the sudden loss of my father in law earlier this year which hit us hard and my ongoing struggle with weight loss it has been a rough start.

Losing Tracey’s dad suddenly was unexpected and knocked us quite a bit, he was a kind man who loved his family and his books and always had an eye for a bargain!

I have been with Slimming World since January 2018 and have managed to lose a little over four and a half stone since then, but these last six months have been hard and I have only been scraping by with half a pound gains or losses each week. I think the problem is as I have lost so much weight now, it is getting harder to lose the last bit I want to, though now summer is officially here (finally), we can think about getting the bikes out.

We used to ride often before Tracey’s surgery five years ago but have not ridden since, we have a few nice routes we want to try but it all starts with a quick ride around the block to blow off the cobwebs and make sure the bikes are good to go so to speak and see how we get on.

We walk a lot though which I am sure helps. It may not be as quick as riding but it gets us there and gives us some exercise at the same time.

My writing has sadly taken a back seat in recent times as evidenced by this post, now I am hoping to change that and get a good writing session in today after I post this.

I have also been spending more time than I should on the PC and Xbox with my flavours of the month currently being Red Dead Redemption 2, Alien Isolation, Witcher 3, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4 which are excellent games and I highly recommend them all! (and no, I am not paid to promote them!).

I spent a couple of hours the other day updating all my mods on Euro Truck which was…fun, finally got the load order right and am now ready to continue my trucking across Europe once more!

Work is going really well and we have had some extremely busy times recently with the heat drawing people out! Lately, I have had a lot of friendly customers which is a nice change and helps the shifts go smoothly. Having a great team that are really friendly too also helps!

I have also gotten really far behind on my reading, with my target of 14 books now being impossible to achieve with my current total at 4 with 3 other books being nearly completed as I dislike sticking to just one book and usually have at least one non fiction book being read at any one time alongside fiction.

Tracey keeps finding me more books on BookBub though as it keeps recommending her military sci fi and space opera for some reason so on my wishlist they go! My poor Kindle is already nearing capacity and I even have Elon Musk’s biography on my phone for those times when my Kindle isn’t handy.

I am trying a new thing out lately by “time-blocking” my days and so far so good, I have started a Master Herbalist course over on Centre of Excellence which I have carved out some time each week to do which is going well and also my Python course. I have a load of courses over on Udemy too which need finishing but will need to block off some more time for that without burning myself out! Regular breaks seems to be the key so I can get up from the laptop, stretch and walk about for a bit.

There are a lot more courses on CoE and Udemy I want to do though I need to finish my current ones first before jumping! That is a real problem for me as I always want to jump onto the next thing that takes my fancy so I need more discipline!

Well, I want to get back to my WIP so I will say goodbye for now and will speak to you all again soon.

The Great Update!

It has been a busy year so far in the Bennett household.
Firstly, I started work at a local large retailer which has had its ups and downs but overall is going well.
I also started a course on mental health at City college as a distance learner which is going well so far, and when I pass this course, I am thinking of going on to the next mental health course and possibly a counselling course with an eye to trying my hand at working within the mental health system. I have had so much help over the years from my local CMHT that I would like to be able to give something back by being a CBT practitioner or counsellor working for a local mental health team.

I have also registered on a part time Accounting course which starts in September which I am really looking forward to! It is something a little ‘out there’ for me but may open up doors in the industry when I qualify and especially if I go on to do the higher level courses.
Tracey has also got her eyes set on a beauty and make up course at City, I’m sure it will be strange the both of us being back at college again after 14 years! After she has qualified, she is then hoping to go onto the part time manicure course then possibly start her own business (with me as her accountant haha).

That leaves the writing.

I haven’t forgotten about my writing either though I have been having somewhat of a dry spell in recent times, I am hoping to get back into it using my trusty laptop and Scrivener now with the collaborative novel with my brother in law (now he uses Scrivener too).

I also aim to get back to my unnamed manuscript for a novel I have been working on, again with Scrivener.

Well, that is the great update, things are going pretty well at the moment and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel of my depression finally after a long time.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for future updates!

Feel free to find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/officialterencebennett and like the page to keep updated on my work.

Belated Happy New Year!

Well I am somewhat surprised to find myself in 2018.

The last few months have been really busy with appointments and other commitments.
I have also been watching a lot of motivational and instructional videos recently about life and writing by various authors I follow on YouTube and other people I am finding inspirational.

I have been binge watching Ana Mascara, Kristen Martin, Kim Chance and Jenna Moreci.

A special video i must recommend everyone to watch is Baz Luhrmann’s excellent “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen” which a dear friend sent to me during a dark time and it really lifted me up and still does, have a listen you wont regret it.

I must say that they have been very helpful and taught me a few tips and tricks to get my motivation going such as Mel Robbin’s5 second rule” which is handy.
I have also been away from the Xbox recently and playing more games on the PC (though even then I tend to get distracted easily and switch games often).
I was excited to get some Christmas money and head over to the Winter Steam sale and picked up a few bargains there and on Matrix Games website.
I picked up Gary Grigsby’s War In The East and War In The West, Pandora First Contact, Graviteam Tactics Operation Star, Rimworld (which I have been after for ages but waited fruitlessly for a sale!), Outlast, Startup Company and a few assorted DLC.

Anyone reading this: can I make a suggestion if you buy Outlast (A survival horror set in an old asylum) play with the lights off and the headphones turned up!

I have also been trying to get the amazing (and FREE) Dwarf Fortress Masterwork v1.3 working, but so far it always seems to crash when generating a new world so I will be having a more detailed look at the options (Masterwork is basically Dwarf Fortress on steroids, it includes all the utilities you will ever need for DF plus new creatures, items, workshops and a ridiculous level of customisation) I switched to Masterwork from the Lazy Newb Pack which I highly recommend for new players, (now known as PeridexisErrant’s Starter Pack), it has most of the same utilities and functions as Masterwork but has a simpler UI and less options.

I also bought Styx Master of Shadows for the Xbox as it was on offer and sounded good (not played too much of it yet though as I said above, I have been on the PC almost exclusively).

With the decorations and the Christmas tree down, the place does look kind of empty now as I sit here at the table, though I am sure I will get used to it fairly quickly.
I have been trying to read 25 pages a day too, I have so many fiction and non-fiction books on my shelf and on my Kindle that I want to read so I am currently reading His Last Command from The Lost Omnibus by Dan Abnett on paperback and Hitler’s Last Witness by Rochus Misch on my Kindle.

I have even been so organised that I have been colour coding my appointments and meetings in my diary and keeping track of everything, for someone as usually disorganised and chaotic as me it is unprecedented!

I have my goals for 2018 broken down into monthly, weekly and daily goals and trying to make permanent good habits (no nail biting for one!).

I have plans for this site too that involve a bit of reworking and tweaking, i updated the theme and started to make some changes but there will be more to come as soon as I have a really good dig into the customisation options.

So, watch this space!

I hope your New Year has gotten off to a good start as mine has!

Thanks for reading!

Witcher & Writing

I have recently been playing a bit of The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt and loving it!
Having a huge world to explore on horseback and kill monsters and harvest their bodies for alchemy ingredients to make potions with is just great!
Yeah sure I can take a wrong turn straight into a high level enemy and get obliterated but that is part of the fun! Mark it and move on.
I am a little naughty though as I couldn’t resist getting Witcher 3 even though I have not finished Witcher 1 or 2, which I understand follows on but I am familiar enough with the characters and basic plot to understand what is going on even so.
I have had to start Witcher 1 Enhanced Edition again due to my long term save becoming corrupted or something, meaning I could no longer carry on with the main quest which annoyed me no end as I was pretty far in.
I have also recently picked up Witcher 2 for the 360 as it is backwards compatible with the Xbox One and had to start that again too so all fresh starts all round!

I have also been getting back into my Udemy courses on accounting software and Python programming language which seems to be going well.
I had installed Python Anaconda where you get the core language plus a metric ton of additional libraries for use as well as an IDE and a few other tools which I have literally no idea what they are for.
Problem is, I had to uninstall the old versions of Anaconda, which also uninstalled the new one for some reason then had to reinstall everything! Oh well, it seems to work fine now albeit a little slow.
Once I have completed all the courses on Python, I will be moving onto C# which is another language I would like to use for making my own game eventually.

Writing has been a little slow recently due to my health and my penchant for getting distracted by games or the Internet, but I have been watching loads of writing videos on YouTube and feel quite inspired to write again now and also bought a couple of books recently which are proving to be a good read (Your First Novel and The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus) which were recommended by YouTuber and author Kristen Martin who I have been binge watching in recent weeks! Go check out her channel!

Well, I am off to do some more writing so I will end it here, thank you for reading and have a great week!

A Small Update

Well, it has been a while since my last update.
We visited relatives in Wales recently which was nice, though there were a lot of train and bus journeys in unfamiliar territory!
We went bowling, played air hockey and visited Caerphilly Castle which was good for a few pictures.
We also had a lovely fried breakfast in a cafe in Merthyr after doing the charity shops and markets.
I even found an unopened copy of Star Munchkin for £3 in a charity shop which I snagged very quickly seeing as it is nearly £20 online!
When we got home, we opened the box after reading it was for 3-6 players and that had previously put me off buying any of the munchkin games but it turns out to be a whole lot of fun with just 2 players and we rapidly bought the expansions for it and now it has been added to our lounge/gaming room collection!
I can recommend it if you like killing monsters, taking their stuff and screwing over your friends! (as it says on the box!).

One nice thing about Aberdare is the views from the top of the garden were fantastic and more pictures were taken, though there is the small matter of the steep road/cliff face that you need to traverse to get to the house which tired us both out! But we enjoyed the sun and sat out in the garden enjoying the quiet before venturing indoors to play Red November and Mille Bornes, two other games I can highly recommend.

One good thing about using the bus every day was we got to see a lot of the Welsh countryside.

We did miss our little furbaby Milo terribly though and we asked our friend who was kittysitting for us to send us daily pictures and updates to help, though he was glad to see us when we got home and it was cuddles all round (from Milo that is!).

Recently, I have been toying with Dwarf Fortress again, more specifically the Mod Dwarf Fortress Masterwork, which is not for the faint hearted! I usually use the Lazy Newb Pack as it has all the mods and utiities you will ever need to run your fort, though Masterwork has all these tools and then some, I am hoping to learn enough of MW DF to post AAR’s on here for anyone who may be interested in reading how quickly my fort falls!

I have also been enjoying Fallout 4 and Alien:Isolation on the Xbox, which are both great games in their own right, though on Fallout, I tend to just drift around in survival mode and try not to get killed rather than doing any of the missions! I strongly recommend playing on survival once you have some experience with the game on normal difficulty first (it is a whole different beast of a game that way!) so far, I am only a few levels in on my survival character though enjoying every minute of it! Though I do need to go back to my main character and finish the game (which won’t be anytime soon).

Well, I will finish off here, I hope you enjoyed this small update and I have given you a few games to go and try!

Now im off to Scrivener to try and get some writing done!

Author L. Grubb – Guest Post

Hello! My name is Lucii, pen name L. Grubb. I’ve been invited here to write a guest post about myself and my work.

 

Yes, I’m an Author…I don’t write your typical books you see in stores, like; Harry Potter, Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, James Patterson…Just to name a few. I write more along the lines of Fifty Shades..BUT NOT THAT EXPLICIT!! I don’t write bondage with whips, chains and handcuffs…But my books are FILTHY yet endearing 😉

 

I write MC Romance to be exact, though this isn’t a recognised genre of book, it is in the book community (you can find a bunch of us on facebook!) MC means Motorcycle Club…I write Alpha males you ride bikes and generally kick ass (with guns) They’re action packed with love, anger and sex.

 

You can find me here:

https://facebook.com/L.GrubbAuthor

luciigrubb.author@hotmail.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14143582.L_Grubb?from_search=true&search_version=service

My Books:

My first book, An Honest Mistake, is the first in the series. It’s my baby. It was released on August 20, 2015 and I have never been so frightened on publishing it for the world to see! Reviews are amazing, apart from a select few, but we all get them right? I don’t dwell on them, most of them are trolls and trust me, they’re EVERYWHERE!

Synopsis:

Ever since Alexis Newman was young, she knew her path in life, but to get to the top you have to start from the bottom. With no man in her life, she sets out with her best friend to dance her frustrations away.

Catching the eye of the crusaders MC resident assassin was definitely not in her life plans.

Cobra is not the type of alpha you read about, he’s not romantic, he doesn’t date, he doesn’t care. His life is all about protecting his club, doing whatever necessary. That all changes when he spots her across the club. She sparks something in him. Ice cold Cobra starts wondering whether he can have a happily ever after but at what cost?

Setting his sight on love was not in his life plan.

With war brewing between the crusaders and their rivals, the hell riders, there is danger lurking around every corner. Will Cobra bring Alexis to the dark side? Or walk away forever?

Will Alexis give up her perfect life plan for an unknown future?

Decision time. Head or heart? Life, love or death?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25851972-an-honest-mistake

(I would add photos but I have no idea how to!!!)

My second book in the series, The Last Betrayal, was released November 24, 2015. This cover has a well known male model, as well as a very close friend, on the cover and is the one I love the most.

Synopsis:

Prologue.

I was unglued. Completely unhinged to the point of flipping everyone off and saying fuck this shit, packing my stuff and riding across the country where no-one can find me.

My heart feels like it’s bleeding wrong, pumping blood in the wrong direction. Cracked and shattered, it would take a lifetime to repair.

I may have known Lauren just a few months but she flew in, wreaking havoc with her bubbly persona, latching onto me like I was her Goddamn lifeline.

It was all fucking crap. It was just a bit of fun for her, she told everyone, wasn’t ready to settle down with the white picket fence and 2.5 kids. Did I ask for that shit? Hell to the fucking no. Never once did I mention I wanted all that. I just wanted her, as she was, but mine; only mine.

She broke me. Big bad biker dude and she fucking broke me.

My name’s Champ and it’s my turn to fucking talk.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25962340-the-last-betrayal

 

The next book I wrote is just a short 23k novella based on the two main characters in The Last Betrayal, Champ & Lauren. It took me a little longer to write this one as Xmas was upon us and the new year was mental with working my real job! This was release in January 🙂

Synopsis:

Lauren and Champ have a life set up, ready to settle down together as a unit. But with Christmas around the corner, and danger lurking in the background, will Christmas be one to celebrate? Or will heartbreak and despair take over?

A Mafia drug lord is making himself known to small MC club, LA Rebels. But with not enough man power to handle such a fuck up, will the Crusaders cruise in to save the day?

The turn of events isn’t what Lauren expected, she’s frustrated with lack of communication between her and her man, will she stay with Champ or will she finally give in and walk away? Will she be able to cope with the devastation that is upon them?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27799331-champ-lauren

 

I’m currently writing the next little novella to accompany the first book in the series, Cobra & Alexis. I haven’t written a lot of it at the moment, but I’m hoping for it to release in May and have just received my cover back from the cover designer and it’s freaking HOT!

 

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be back writing more rambling posts and to keep you up to date with my new releases etc. If you wish to purchase any of the books in the series, I’ll put the buy links here. See you soon!

An Honest Mistake:
US: http://amzn.to/1VKOTYw
UK: http://amzn.to/1JNRxna
CA: http://amzn.to/1LSs8ie
AU: http://bit.ly/1giHLmh