Volunteering and Gaming

Hi all! it’s been a long time since my last post, but here i am with a fresh new one to thrill and amaze!
Volunteer work has kept me busy over the intervening period as well as my long suffering wife Tracey.
Sadly, our time with the council run local library came to an end as the library closed, though we did walk away with a friend and reference in our boss.

We then started volunteering for the Maritime Archaeology Trust identifying and recording lost wrecks from World War One, which goes right down my alley, being able to use my Google-Fu to tease any extra data from the Interweb!

I started volunteering at a local cafe which went really well and I discovered that maybe i could go back into a fast paced dynamic kitchen environment again after so many years away, there i gained valuable experience both in the back and out the front and remember my time there fondly (even one day when the freezers needed to be scraped out and cleaned which was fun! 😉

Recently, I started volunteering at a charity shop with Tracey and a friend to gain valuable retail experience and also with the Council again with the Museum Collections Service, digitising old records, which suits me fine being up to my neck in old records and entering them into a spreadsheet, which is probably as boring as it sounds to most, but to me it gives me a chance to brush up on my Excel skills! though some of that writing can be tricky to read!

I have been slowly coming around to my games again after a long time being unable to do so for health reasons and have been particularly enjoying Microsoft Flight Simulator X:Steam Edition and Euro Truck Simulator 2 with the amazing Promods, Rusmaps, and Jazzycat Trailer & AI Traffic mods amongst others (which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone who has ever fancied taking a truck across Europe!).

I love Simulators, 4X games and RPG’s and I am hoping to take this blog in a slightly different direction in the future.

I will be keeping to these small ‘updates’ about my life, but will also be talking about what games i have been enjoying recently and what mods I can recommend based on my personal preference.

I have also been enjoying Mass Effect Andromeda and Fallout 4 on Xbox way more than i probably should but Tracey and I have an understanding so I get games during the day, then we veg out and watch our series and maybe a film or two afterwards in the evening with dinner.  It works really well for us.

Being a huge, huge fan of the Mass Effect franchise, the release of Andromeda was greatly anticipated by me but due to being unable to run it on my PC and not owning an Xbox One, I couldn’t play it, but careful saving and a liberal splash of trading in old games and hardware in our local CEX, i managed to finally join the current-gen club!
I have not tested the mods feature of Fallout 4 yet, but when i get around to it, there are definitely a couple i would like to try out (though part of me is saying wait for a PC upgrade and get it on PC too for more modding fun and mod managers!).

Well, on top of all this, I have been trying to write where and when i can.  I have the software, the hardware and no excuses yet still struggle at times.

I have a collaborative fiction piece with my brother in law which is going really well and we are both enjoying it (yes, i will get back to it i promise! 😉

I have my blog, which as you have all realised has been somewhat abandoned of late (okay longer than that!) and i am working on my novel of which i hope to be able to post updates on here very soon.

And then there is my reading… thanks to Amazon and Bookbub, i have been able to expand my Kindle library to probably over a hundred books nearly all of which were free (book 1’s of a series or really old) or were heavily discounted, which is all great on paper, but with everything going on, I tend to just want to chill out with YouTube videos at bedtime (yes i know videos are probably not the best thing to be doing in bed!) though my Watch Later list grows by the day and the amount of series I have started watching of various game Let’s Plays also never seems to shrink!

I think that is all i have for you today, sorry about the long wait to those of you who read this blog, but i hope to get back in the saddle again quickly so please bear with me!

Smart Meter, Rummy and Books!

Well we have just had our new Southern Electric Smart Meter installed and said goodbye to the Engineer after a brief demo of our new system.
We can now monitor our electric and gas usage in real time which is really cool and has had me switching things on and running back to the hand held monitor to see the difference!.
The only weird thing is when i plugged the monitor into a free plug socket and switched it on to save the batteries, our usage dropped, not sure why.
Over the next seven weeks, it will learn our usage habits and adapt itself accordingly, so it will be interesting  to see what happens!.
While the Engineer was busy downstairs, we had no power for a brief time, so with no Internet, PCs or TV, we were forced to rely on other ways of amusing ourselves for the duration.

Continue reading “Smart Meter, Rummy and Books!”

Football Manager Addiction!

Football Manager was named in 35 divorce cases in the UK.

Having played a fair few hours of it over the last couple of weeks I can see why.

I am not a huge follower of football and will be the first to put my hand up and admit I know next to nothing about football strategy and tactics (though I have printed out a few guides and read a lot of articles to increase my knowledge somewhat).  I understand they have streamlined  the game and improved vastly upon it since my last foray into Football Manager (2012) and I have found this version (2014) to be a lot simpler and more intuitive than the last one I played (I know it’s all a matter of opinion but I am getting on with this version better than 2010 or 2012 somehow).  Even though I am not a huge football fanatic, I still find this game highly addictive and think about it even when i’m not playing it and planning for my next session!.

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Games, Glorious Games!

Well, it has been a long time since my last post.

I think it is for a variety of reasons, chiefly being the fact that I am now well and truly back into my games and spend time on them when I should be writing.

I have definitely turned into a steam addict and my game collection grows by the week (though now Tracey has given me an allowance each fortnight!).

Lately, I have been mainly playing Crusader Kings II (where I am trying my hardest to become the King of Ireland [unsuccessfully] as YouTube recommends to new players), X2:The Threat (I am making my annual attempt at an X:Marathon where I start with X:Beyond the Frontier and progress through X:Tension, X2:The Threat, X3:Reunion and X3:Terran Conflict building my empire before finally getting my hands on X3: Albion Prelude and finally X:Rebirth if my PC can handle it).

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A Relaxing Weekend?

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just got in from a rather hot walk up to the big Tesco’s up the road.

Tracey made the whole trip there and back without stopping which is a huge achievement at this stage of her recovery.

Now we are both sat down with a cold drink and I thought it would be a good time to write.

Yesterday, we had to make another trip to Southampton, firstly to return a cheap pair of speakers we bought for Tracey’s computer, and secondly to return a game (Stardrive) that we bought from CEX and turned out to be a Steam game that had already been activated.

CEX were great, they refunded me straight away and the voucher went towards… (and I am almost ashamed to say this)  LEGO Star Wars The Original Trilogy.

In my defence, I am trying to get more games that both Tracey and I can play together and we are both Star Wars and Lego fans and the games came recommended so thought it was worth a try!.

Continue reading “A Relaxing Weekend?”

The End of an Era

Well, that is college over for now until we start the Computer Programming course in September (when we get around to enrolling anyway!).  We came so close to finishing our final MS Access test but due to some unexpected issues, we had to come in the week after to finish it.  It was a sad goodbye to our tutor Nina, as we have been with her for two ITQ courses now and sadly Totton College currently do not offer the ITQ3 which we would gladly have enrolled on and had her teach us for level one, two and three!.

I would have had this post out earlier but, there were some computer issues which needed a careful application of Smart Defrag, Ccleaner and Malware Bytes to sort out first.

If your computer is running slow, chances are it either needs defragging or has malware (or even both!) I didn’t have any malware, but did need a defrag.  I can strongly recommend these three programs to help keep your PC in top shape.

Continue reading “The End of an Era”

Banjo-Kazooie
Banjo-Kazooie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My wife and I went to town the other day.

As part of her recovery we are walking every day to get her back into shape and exercise her heart, but are also taking the collapsible wheelchair for when she gets too tired.

Tracey walked to the bus stop just using the chair for balance then we jumped on the bus and spent the next twenty minutes being bounced around on the uneven roads which wasn’t exactly comfortable for her.

But eventually, we made it to town and got out our list we had made to ensure we didn’t forget anything.  This was the first time we had been in town since before Tracey’s operation and we didn’t want to waste time!.

We got off at the Marlands and entered CEX, where we immediately headed for the Xbox 360 games and picked up Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts for a bargain low price as I had recently had been playing Banjo-Kazooie and felt like retrying Nuts & Bolts after a brief go a few years ago which ended with me trading it in as there were other games I wanted to play more.

After waiting in the queue for a good twenty minutes (don’t get me started on CEX’s queueing issue!) we headed for GAME in West Quay and promptly arrived at the primary reason we decided to go to town rather than just up the road and back:

Murdered Soul Suspect.

I had been waiting for this game for over a year and had been saving my Christmas GAME voucher and the points on my card for just this occasion, eagerly snapping up each and every trailer released over the past six months.

The tagline is simple: “The hardest murder to solve is your own”.

Then something horrific happened.

I decided to try Viva Pinata.

I had been toying with the idea for a few years since I heard good things about it from a friend.  It just makes a change to play a game now and then that doesn’t revolve around killing or destruction! I can just relax and play this or Banjo if I feel like something different.

To try and deal with the guilt and shame of buying these kids games, we sat in the park and enjoyed some fresh air and sunshine.

After a while we made our way back to the bus and went home pleased with our bargains and an evening of gaming prevailed…

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