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!

A Return to Gaming!

Fallout: New Vegas box art
Fallout: New Vegas box art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, it’s been a fair old while since my last post, so i thought it high time to write and update you all on what’s been happening in my world.

Just before Christmas, we had a run of appointments, from the Dentist’s to the Doctor’s and also a hospital appointment or two so my apologies for not writing!.

I recently had a Liver Biopsy which was a unique experience, my appointment was at 0800 but I got called in early thinking “Yay! this will be over in no time!” but there was a few hour wait until I was called in during which time I had to have another shower using this antibacterial soap in preparation for my procedure (which was strange showering in a hospital!).

Finally, I was called in and had to lie on the bed (with my book ‘The Founding‘ by Dan Abnett just in case there was another delay) while they wheeled me down to the right area (I felt so lazy being able to walk but they wanted me lying down!).

The worst thing was the injection of the anaesthetic, that stuff burns when it goes in until it kicks in and numbs the area!  The Doctor performing the procedure was brilliant, explaining what was going to happen at each step and it was all over in a few moments (I also got to see the sample they took before I was wheeled back!).

After an hour lying on my right side and having my stats checked regularly, I was wheeled back up to the ward where my wife Tracey was waiting patiently (with her book!) and even though I felt ready to leave right away, I had to stay in until about 1900 lying down to ensure there was no complications! good job I had my wife and my book to keep me busy!!.

All the nursing staff and the Doctor were fantastic, I really felt they cared about me and they were friendly and warm, and people say the NHS is bad! we don’t know how lucky we are to have such a system!.

Christmas was great, Tracey got me a model of the SSV Normandy SR1 from Mass Effect 1 which has pride of place on my desk and the Elder Scrolls Anthology containing Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind GOTY, Oblivion GOTY and Skyrim GOTY.

Needless to say I am getting back into my games and the Elder Scrolls are my favourite universe! I even started using an Xbox controller in the PC to make it easier!.

I have also got into Flight Simulator X (with FS Flying School and REX Essentials) and have been putting a lot of time into Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas and Mass Effect 3 (even though I should be writing and doing my Paranormal Investigator course!).

College has been going really well, we have now finished Microsoft Word and Excel units (that last test was NOT fun! I hate nested IF statements and VLOOKUP!) and are going on to Publisher and Access if we have time, it’s great getting coffee in the Costa in the college as it is a fraction of the price it is outside and it’s really good coffee! helps keep me awake during the more complex parts when my eyes want to glaze over!.

We also sorted through all my games, getting rid of over fifty games (some I hadn’t looked at in years!) we traded them in at CEX in town (which took ages!) and got nearly £50 in vouchers which we spent on Kinect for the Xbox and a few Kinect games to get us started!.

Having a small lounge, we invested in the Zoom accessory for Kinect that is designed to get the Kinect to work in smaller rooms (It’s still not perfect but it is at least usable) and have been having fun with Kinect Sports (Yay Bowling!) and Your Shape 2012.

We finally finished watching all seven series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and are now watching The X-Files.

Well, time to go and do some Programming and maybe some writing, hope you all had a great Christmas!.

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