Noise at Night-time

Having lived in a few places and always being in a room at the front of the house, I tend to hear quite a bit of noise during the night. It is quite annoying when it wakes you up but I find the thought processes quite interesting.

When I was younger I used to hear foxes fighting outside. The sound was a terrible screeching that seemed to come from the very depths of Ragnarok. It might be annoying but they are only animals and will wander off soon.

Lately I have been hearing the worst sound of all… drunk people.

I remember a few years ago when I was staying with my parents in New York and we were living on the trendy Upper East Side, between First and Second Avenue. There are quite a few bars and restaurants and people would walk along our street at the end of the night or the beginning of the next day. One night as I was lying in bed I was awoken to a woman screaming, I can’t remember the exact details of her screams but it was something along the lines “NOOOOOO!!!!” and my groggy thought process was “hmm, someone is being murdered. oh well i’ll check it out in the morning.” So I woke up the next morning and carried on with my day as normal until I remembered the noise and I spent a good ten minutes trying to work out if it was a dream or not. I glanced outside the window to the street below and didn’t see any CSI crew so I casually mentioned it to my parents who also said “oh yeah, we thought we heard a murder too. New York ‘eh?”

Now lately in Bristol I am living on a busy street and there is a bar underneath (fortunately it was shut down due to drugs and weapons which goes to show it’s a nice neighbourhood) but there are two bars which are open about 50 metres either side of the house. Quite often, weeknights and weekends we get a lot of people shouting in their drunken stupor. Only last night there was a bar crawl or some sort and it sounded like some people were causing a ruckus outside my house.
But two or three weeks ago I heard (what I think was) a guy from the local kebab shop (a kebab is a meal that drunken people have, no one knows what it is when they’re sober) shouting “yeah, yeah I’ll call the police!” He shouted it several times but in my state of tiredness and frustration I didn’t bother looking out of the window because I didn’t want to be a witness to anything and have my sleep disturbed any further.

Don’t get me started on road works….

Advertisements

Fails

The word fail has made it’s way into everyday language thanks to popular culture. People will say it when something goes wrong or someone does something stupid.

I’m not entirely sure of the origins but it came from internet slang. Fortunately for researching things on the internet we have Know Your Meme which is a tremendous site to explore. However if you go there then be careful, there isn’t really anything dodgy on there, it might just have some things you don’t get. Like a quirky person who you just find weird. Rest assured though it isn’t 4chan (but pretty much every meme comes from 4chan, the good, the bad and the ugly).

There are several other websites devoted to the art of failing. Perhaps the most famous is failblog.org and I also think they have a YouTube channel. Better than that though is a guy who makes a 10 minute compilation for each month.

There is something quite comforting about fail videos. I think it is the fact that there are people out there who I am smarter than. In some situations you just have to sa “perhaps the fireworks aren’t such a good idea guys”. With these videos you know something is going to go wrong and life doesn’t seem too bad.

God bless dumb people.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim!

It arrived today because I got it on pre-order.

My first impression is that it is different to Oblivion which makes sense. The intro takes longer and character creation is a bit longer and is already at a fast pace. Hopefully it will slow down so I can go and explore for a while. Just to note the characters can look really cool. Like super duper cool. I’m playing it on PS3 and the graphics are impressive but there seem a few little issues with shadows and some edges.

The different menus are a bit of a shame, I enjoyed the book type layout of Oblivion but in Skyrim it is certainly a lot quicker to go through the menu.

Character animations are an improvement and the voice acting differs a lot more.

Oh and the flight of the dragons is amazingly done. This game is certainly an improvement on Oblivion so far. I am confident that it won’t fail to deliver.

Buy it, and play it.

Community

This is not a post on small town ideals and values, nor is it a post on the state of the European Union.

It is something much bigger than that. It is about Community.

What is this Community that I am talking about? It is my (if not one of) favourite TV show of all time.

Imagine if you will the pop cultural references of Family Guy (but making more sense) with the cleverness of Arrested Development and the comedy (and cleverness too) of 30 Rock and as funny as all three and I guess that would give you community. Whatever you do don’t combine the storylines of them because that would be a mess.

The first episode introduces us to Jeff Winger, who was a hot shot lawyer but it turned out he had no degree so he has been forced to go to community college (hence the title). Someone says to him “But I thought you got a degree from Columbia?” to which Jeff replies “Yeah, and now they want me to get one from the USA.”
Jeff doesn’t want to be there and tries to get through doing as little work as possible. In an attempt to get with a blonde girl he pretends to be an expert at Spanish and organises a study group (with no one else) to help her. Only it ends up having several people in it. So our bunch of misfits are settled and have met.

All of the characters are different and have their different quirks. In most TV shows like this it might seem to obvious but Community does it well, with characters being rediculous but the perfect kind and amount.
Take for example Chevy Chase’s character, Pierce. He is old and racist but doesn’t realise his racism is wrong. And he isn’t too racist, it’s clever little comments he makes.

My favourite character is Abed who they suspect to have Asperger’s. He explains everything according to TV shows or movies (his favourite being Pulp Fiction) and at one point is asked to explain the relationship of Jeff and Britta (the blonde love interest) and his analysis is “Well it is certainly no Ross and Rachel from Friends but shares a similar dynamic.”
I will also give this video clip that explains him a lot. Forgive the back to front-ness of it. I didn’t upload the video.

The first two seasons weren’t planned a huge amount but the third one has and is shaping up really well so far.

I would list some worthy episodes to watch but that would be a big list. Just go and watch it.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation is one my favourite TV shows as of late. I think it is made by the same people who made The Office but it is so much better. The characters are slightly more believable, in that they aren’t a complete moron like Steve Carrel or so ridiculous like Rainn Wilson.

The show is about the department of Parks and Recreation in a small town in Indiana. Amy Poehler is the main character and is the deputy director of the department. Her aims are to become President via being the first female Directer of the parks and recreation department. She is very naive and panics about the smallest details and her role models include any and every female politician such as Condi Rice, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.

My favourite character is her boss, Ron Swanson.

Ron is the director of the department and he despises big government. There is an episode where he says people should have the freedom to eat as much as they want and get fat, that is what makes America beautiful. According to him the government is bloated and inefficient. Here is a quote of his ideal government

“My idea of a perfect government is one guy who sits in a small room at a desk, and the only thing he’s allowed to decide is who to nuke. The man is chosen based on some kind of IQ test, and maybe also a physical tournament, like a decathlon. And women are brought to him, maybe … when he desires them.”

And on the Parks and Recreation department itself

“I’ve been quite open about this around the office: I don’t want this parks department to build any parks, because I don’t believe in government. I think that all government is a waste of taxpayer money. My dream is to have the park system privatized and run entirely for profit by corporations, like Chuck E. Cheese. They have an impeccable business model. I would rather work for Chuck E. Cheese.”

He is like a character from Dilbert, actually he reminds me of Dogbert. Anything similar to Dilbert has to be good.

Another standout character is Jerry. I’m not sure what his role is within the department but he is lovable and I feel sorry for him. Everyone else in the office gives him a hard time and he is just waiting until he can retire. Here is a video of him which will explain much better than I can.

 

Go and watch the show. It’s incredible!

The Hardest Video Game EVER!?

I haven’t posted in a while because I have been quite busy. Now that I am slightly less busy I am thinking what on earth can I write about?

Between my busy-ness I have been playing a game on the PS3 that my brother got me for my birthday (I’m old now). He asked if I wanted it and after a very quick glance on Wikipedia I said “yeah, sure”. It turns out that this game is really hard. Like, super hard.

Like a lot of games it starts off with a tutorial but the learning curve is very steep. After the tutorial you are sent into an open world and can explore as much as you want. I had trouble because I was dying a lot but it turns out that you are supposed to die a lot.

The game is called Dark Souls and is a sequel to a game called Demon Souls. I’m not entirely sure of the storyline but it has something to do with dragons who were killed and now the world is cursed. Then there was a prophecy about someone returning from the dead who would rid the world of the curse. So the guy I play is undead but throughout the game if you acquire enough souls you can go back to your human form.

The difficulty comes from the fact that the game throws you in at the deepend and doesn’t explain much. I spent ages looking through the manual but that doesn’t have many clues so I have had to resort to online help.

No help given. And this is an "easy" enemy.

As tough as the game is, it really is incredible. Apart from the graphics of the open world it has an online feature that no other game has. You can leave messages for other players, which can vary between useful tips, random sayings and also troll comments such as “jump off this ledge” when if you do, you will die. Another thing you can do is help other people on their game or randomly make it tougher for people. I’m not doing this game justice because I have barely scratched the surface.

My house mates find it quite incredible and they have helped me play through it (don’t worry, I don’t spend all day playing it while they watch).

I have clocked up a few hours on it and haven’t even done the first part of it. It’s going to take a while.

 

As for my lack of posting I have a few ideas lined up so don’t worry. Have a Happy Halloween!

Final Year of Univeristy

Annoyingly, it seems like after two years of coasting along, it might all be over.

That’s right. I might actually have to work this year. After two years of pretending to work, I have to pull my thumb out. The truth is that I am academically kind of lazy. The degree interests me but I feel like a Bill Gates/Steve Jobs. I am doing a degree for the sake of it. I have a job next year which is joining the Royal Marines (hence my lack of blogging recently).

But now that I’m third and final year, I am sorting out my dissertation. Apparently my dissertation needs to be more than an interest, gosh, wil my tutor learn some things about me as the reason I chose to study theology was because it interested me. That will shock him….