So This Was Christmas….

When I was a few years younger and the world was full of magic and possibilities I would wake up at 4-5 am on Christmas morning and try to contain my excitement until 6 am to wake my parents.

Id rush out the back door to see if Santa’s reindeer had eaten the carrots we left out for them, Id check the cookies and milk we would leave out on Christmas Eve, and id wonder to myself and my younger brothers as to what gifts we might have gotten this year.

Well unfortunately for me the world lost a little magic when I was told that Santa wasn’t real and it had just been our pet dog eating those carrots all those years. I was truly heart broken, for the first time in my life. In the years that followed that day Christmas came to be more of a day of stress then a day of pure joy and fun. I had to worry about what to get people, and sometimes i hit the mark, other times i fell short and in the same vein, sometimes you get what you wanted, other times you get socks.

Life lesson learned, Adulting sucks. But does it?

Today was the first year in quite a few that we had kids way younger then me hanging around. You see my Cousins have started having children and while that makes me feel really old (As at least one of them is younger than me) It was kind of nice to see their pure unadulterated joy at the day at hand.

I gained Two Nephews this year on my mums side and on my dads side, I got to met some Nieces in law or whatever they call the daughters of my cousins girlfriends. My Nephews, are too young to have much fun at Christmas, as this is their first and they were far more excited at the thought of Wrapping paper and naps then they were the toys that came in said paper.

But its those Nieces in whatever that really made my day today. you see they were maybe 2 and 4 years old. The youngest was still very interested in naps and wrapping paper, but we also got great joy from throwing our teddy bear around and then crying until we got it back. It was a great game.

The oldest however was Christmas embodied. Wearing a “Mrs Santa” dress that played holiday tunes and running around like crazy playing with anyone who didnt look big and scary like a certain blogger who is typing this (Even with my Christmas Tinsel in my ponytail!) Laughing, Dancing, Singing and not letting a little minor problem like “Not knowing the words” get in the way. And that got me thinking.

Maybe it’s past my time to be that joyful kid. I mean I am 25 years old, 26 in February. I’m no kid anymore. Id rather sleep in until 9 am on Christmas morning then be up before the sun. Id rather have a coffee first thing in the morning rather than Rip into the presents. Id rather spend time with those who really matter then seeing the extended family I hate just because its an extra prezzie.

Ive grown up. No longer will I dance and sing like no one is watching only to be embarrassed by stories of said events in my teenage years, No longer will I look to the stars on Christmas Eve out my window as soon as bed time rolls around and hope Saint Nick will be around as soon as i fall asleep.

But on the same flip of the token, I can now buy people presents they really want instead of my Masterpiece works of art (Read: crap) Or school projects (Metalwork in year 8 was wonderful, I had Xmas shopping done by like November) And Ive always loved giving gifts. It makes me feel great today when I give my mother “Captain America: Civil War, and Batman Vs Superman” for Christmas after she mentioned the night before as we were looking for something to watch on our Telstra TBox And she mentions that she wanted to see them. My poker face was on point last night let me tell you.

Its not my Joy im seeking anymore. I seek to put a smile on someone elses face. I don’t have kids of my own, Hell I dont even have a woman in my life, but Today i realized that someday, I want to be a dad someday.

I want to make Christmas a magical experience for a mini ssf or ssfette. I want them to grow up with amazing memories of Christmas like I have. I want to make my significant other the happiest person in the world, Every year and I want to make my future children love Christmas like I did, before all that growing up rubbish happened.

Its a long way off being possible, But today was an eye opening experience for me. I thought i might share it with the world. Its time to add that goal of being a Dad someday to my life plan, and work towards it.

So i guess maybe there is some magic left in Christmas day after all. I’m no longer the crowd member struck with awe, Now I’m the Magician, behind the scenes pulling the strings and you know what? I’m okay with that.

.SSF – December 25, 2016.

Paying my respects.

Today i lost my grandfather. at twenty to four in the afternoon, on the 22nd of December 2015, my grandfather, or Pa as ive always called him passed away in hospital.

Pa is the father to my Mother and her three sisters, who along with his wife of 60+ years all succeed him. I have personally known the man for twenty four years, however I don’t remember the first couple, as most babies don’t remember much, but over the years i can happily say i got to know my grandfather.

As long as i can remember I went to Sunday lunch at my Nan and Pa’s house, a tradition that only stopped a few years ago when basically my brothers and I had grown up enough and were away from home most weekends.

Yes it did get boring after some twenty years of doing it, but during that time we got to do something my parents never got to do. We got to know our grandparents.

You see on my mothers side, Her grandparents died before she was born, being the youngest of the four sisters and on my dads side he olny knew his grandparents briefly before they passed on. On both sides of my family i got to meet and get to know my extended family.

However this is not an ssf history lesson, this is a tribute to the great man known as Pa, so i shall share with you a memory. one of the strongest memories i have.

I was in primary school at the time. Being the oldest of three brothers, It was my job to look after my two younger brothers while ever we were in school. at the time we would ride the bus after school to my Nan and Pa’s house instead of home since both my parents worked long hours. Pa would pick us up from the bus stop every day and walk with us around the block back to their house for the afternoon until our folks finished work.

My younger brother got picked on a bit while he was on the bus. because i used to talk to my friends who rode the same bus i didnt notice at first but eventually it started to effect my brother to the point where he would get upset. I realized who was doing it, A kid in my class.

At the time That kid was one of those kids who tried to fit in with the cool kids, and would do anything in his ability to get a laugh from the other kids. This included picking on juniors. He also got off at the same bus stop as me and my brother.

Once i realized what was going on I formulated a plan. The bus stop was the ideal place. No teachers, no way he could possibly get backup from anyone else. Younger me could be quite cunning given time.

The kid kept going after my brother for a few days, and because he was getting a positive response from those he wanted to fit in with he was getting worse, To the point that my grandfather had actually told him off when he spotted what was going on.

After weeks of this going on my brother broke down crying on the bus, My middle brother is three years younger then I am and for some reason he seemed to be this bully kids favorite target. Id had enough. The next day i decided to hell with the consequences, Ill do what i have to and deal with what comes.

So as we get off the bus the kid says something snarky to my brother yet again while my grandfather is out of earshot. I wait till my grandfather start talking to my brother and sock the bully square in the middle of the back, As hard as i could. its a cheap shot i know, but i was a kid and i had never thrown a punch in anger before that. however it did the trick. he was so shocked, so surprised that id sucker punched him  (And id like to think hurting) the bully kid ran across the road before he had started yelling profanities at us.

The Bus drove away with kids cheering and shouting fight fight fight as kids do, The bully ran across the street shouting abuse like you would not believe from the mouth of a primary school kid, And my grandfather Told told the bully off yet again for it! while said bully ran down the street yelling profanities at us.

I was ready for being told off. Id accepted that what i did wasn’t the right thing to do, but i did it anyway. As we walked back to Nan and Pas place it was almost silent. My brother was in a better mood because a kid that was giving him trouble had been embarrassed by his older brother, who being me, was considered one of the “Unpopular” kids in school and not someone who gets brought to violence easily.

during that whole walk i was expecting to be told off and get in a world of trouble for hitting someone. It never came. Being the man of few words that he was my Pa said eight and only eight words. “Don’t do it again, Violence isn’t the answer.” That was it. There was no tone of displeasure that normally came with a berating, there was not any hint of discipline in his voice.

he knew full well what had been happening and had seen how my brother had been after getting off the bus. Had he been so inclined he could have told me off and been well within his bounds. but he didnt. he made it clear it was inappropriate behavior, and i shouldn’t do it again, but the asshat deserved everything that he got as well.

After that day neither of my brothers ever got touched again on the bus and a lot of other kids who had heard the stories looked at me with respect instead of contempt. The asshat that used to bully my brother never spoke to me or my brother again and i was fine with that. He even stopped taking the bus home for a while.

I never told anyone else that story since that day, but today i think is a good day for the world to know exactly what kind of man my grandfather was.  Pa was a man of few words, he was tough, but he was fair. He may not be the hero of every story, but hes the man i always wanted to be and if I turn out to be half the man he was I can be proud of that. I think he could have been a hero, and was even turned away when he tried to join up during the second world war, due to his colorblindness,  but I couldn’t care less. Hes still a hero to me.

Ill miss you Pa.
Goodbye.
Love – SSF

I want to be the very best…

Yes. Ive done it. I am now officially the best, Like no one ever was. I have caught the entire pokedex in Pokemon Omega Ruby.

Im sure there are those of you out there who have absolutely no idea what im on about. Well allow me to explain. Ever since i got my first game boy color in the year 2001, along with the brand new “Pokemon Gold” game I fell in love with the Pokemon game series.

In those days i was all of ten years old. I still remember the first day i got it. It was my birthday and for once my birthday had fallen on the weekend instead of the usual on a school day. (The curse of being born early in February – The school holidays always ended like a week before my birthday.)  Now before this we had never owned a computer or anything as flash as an Nintendo 64,

Growing up we never had a whole lot of money, but my mother had saved up enough to get me the game boy for my birthday because i had wanted one since they had been released in Australia the year before.

As you can imagine it was the greatest and most expensive gift id ever received. I think that day alone i clocked something like 14 hours of game play. I became hooked. I would battle my friends who having owned their game boys far longer then I whupped my ass every single time, but something about the games stuck with me.

I think my love for the Pokemon games comes from my deep love of stories and my sometimes distracting and often unhelpful, but good imagination. In case you have never played a Pokemon game or seen the Pokemon TV shows, the basic gist is this.

Ten year old kid “Comes of age” and goes on an adventure with monsters that can do marvelous things like breath fire and lightning or squirt water from cannons on their backs. Much like any other cartoon of the time it was something kids imagined themselves doing.

Then they struck gold with the hit game “Pokemon Red And Blue/Green*” One of the first “Free roam open worlds” Ever, the Pokemon games did something no other game had ever done. You had a choice of 151 monsters and you could battle your friends and trade with them, you could collect “Gym badges” that you got for beating strong “trainers” in the game.

What i loved was the freedom. there was only one path to each city but the path was wide, you were not forced to follow the same track every time, and the game got easier or harder depending on how you played. You rushed from city to city avoiding fights? The gyms would be quite difficult. You spent time training your Pokemon on wild Pokemon and increasing your team? Gyms got easier. It was brilliant.

my mind would wander, and i would put myself in the shoes of the protagonist, who you got to name, as you battled your way to becoming the “Champion”. You would figure out the puzzles and feel like you were the smartest person alive, you could try different Pokemon and once you finally beat the game, you could just restart it and do it all over again with a completely different team and change your experience completely.

I was given Pokemon Gold, one of two games that made up the second generation of Pokemon game boy games, the other being Pokemon Silver. This added another hundred odd Pokemon and more Gyms to battle and harder trainers to fight.

This is where my love for Pokemon began. I would sink hundreds apon thousands of hours into that game. I still have it to this day and would never sell it. Its something i want my kids, should I ever have any to play with, Because you simply cant kill my old game boy. Despite all the miles its covered and the hard life its lived it still fires up first go with new batteries, that you do have to hold in place since the battery cover is missing and the springs are quite bent from the number of times ive changed batteries, but it still fires up.

Fast forward quite a few years from that birthday and Im in high school. Pokemon games and game boys came back into popularity. Once again i sink another few hundred hours into the game. That was probably the most popular i ever was in school during those years.

Skip forward again to the end of high school, The gameboy has been banished to my drawer in my desk and unused for years. i figured id probably never use it again, but id keep it just in case. Life kicks in and i spend less time at home then i have ever done.

I gigged with a band for a number of years, Barely home, lots of time on the road. We entered a bunch of Battle of the Bands and actually did very well. We were running on fast food, little sleep, alcohol and adrenaline.

when you have been to that point of exhaustion, traveling for long periods of time, you find yourself finding ways to deal with it, ours was humour and silly stories. To give you an idea, Sitting in the back seat of a car we have made up many many stories, dances, characters and even a whole religion.

One Battle of the bands we went to we had to fill out a sheet about who we were. When gigging is your only source of employment you don’t really have a lot to write down so our answers may not have been one hundred percent accurate. when asked what my profession was, I put down “Pokemon Trainer” for instance.

why am i telling you this since it has very little to do with the main story here? Well it kind of inspired me to once again look at the Pokemon game series.  the year is now 2013 and the new 3DS has just been released with the brand new Pokemon games X and Y. This is the sixth generation of Pokemon games. Gold and Silver were the second Generation. Ive missed a lot.

I bought a 3ds an Pokemon Y and immediately fell in love all over again. The story is different, The Pokemon are new, but with lots of old faces too, and many many more total Pokemon to choose from. There are now 720 official Pokemon available. Thats a lot. Then last year they released the second half of Generation Six, In the remakes of the third gen games “Ruby and Sapphire” with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire” I bought these too. I have clocked hundred of hours yet again, but this time i set myself a task.

You see ever since the first Pokemon games, the end game goal has been to catch every Pokemon in the pokedex. This was pretty hard to do in the old days because you had to trade to friends to get every single Pokemon. But now with over 700 Pokemon, its a lot of work to fill.

However now they have updated with the times and added in the ability to trade with people over the internet, so I was in with a shot. I found the original 150 without too much trouble, They are extremely common and were easy to find. Then i ran into my first issue. Mew.

Mew is the 151st Pokemon in the pokedex. Its also an extremely rare Pokemon, its only ever been available through events, most of which take place in japan. So i was screwed. or so i thought. Some nice guy online traded me one he had spare for a couple of other “legendaries” he didnt have. So i went out and bought all the old DS Pokemon games and caught all the legendaries i could and traded them forwards as soon as i could. Through this method i would trade for the hardest to find Pokemon by offering good natured, strong Pokemon.

This took quite a lot of time. Until yesterday if im honest. Yesterday I completed the pokedex, doing a trade back with a guy with the final piece of the puzzle, A Keldeo. I traded it straight back as he wanted it back, but it filled in my dex page.

however, the pokedex ive built is not just a full normal dex. Ive built a FULL “living” pokedex. This means i have every single one of the seven hundred and twenty pokemon sitting in the boxes at one time. Except Keldeo. Im missing one pokemon from my complete living dex. Its very rare because the only events for it were in Japan, and the only way im likely to get one is a hacked one.

And that brings us to the end. Its only taken me fourteen years, but ive done it. Im finally a pokemon master. Unlike Ash Ketchum I have aged since that fateful birthday that my world expanded, But not unlike Ash, I am still in love with the idea of adventure, battling to be the best and making friends with animals.

While my cat may not spit fire (Ironically his name is Spitfire) or have wings, hes the closest thing i got to pocket monsters, so he will have to do. I may never walk around the country visiting gyms, and i most certainly will never go up to strangers asking to battle them for money and experience, but Ive learnt a lot from the Pokemon games, Its been an outlet for me when times were tough and a getaway from the real world, its been a relaxing game i can play when im utterly exhausted.

Fourteen years ive spent playing the same series of games, and guess what? I wouldn’t trade the experience for all the money in the world, So from the pen of this gamer: Thanks a lot Nintendo.

Ipod or Ipain? My thoughts. (yes its another rant.)

I have been an online radio DJ for a number of years now, Being one of the longest running DJ’s on the Gaming Radio Digxradio from late 2010 early 2011 right through till the station unfortunately came to an end in 2014.

After that i started up with a few fellow Digx vets over at another station, this one Called RZZR radio. Ive been with RZZR for nearly a year now, and its had its ups and downs, The most recent of which was the loss of one of RZZR’s founding members, Known as DJ Angel passed on from this earthly plane a few months ago. However as a living tribute to Angel RZZR continues on without her.

Anyway, as much as making this post a tribute to Angel would be nice, its not the point of this post. As i have been a radio dj for over three years now, and as you might expect i have a fairly large music library.

However after three and a half years, I get tired of hearing the same old stuff every few weeks. Nolonger can i stand to listen to my local station that plays the same two hundred songs on a repeated list. It drives me around the bend.

So i tend to spend a lot of time listening to my Ipod or to RZZR radio itself. However after a while you find youself knowing all the other DJ’s music and fancying a break from it and thats where i am now.

So on a whim the other day i decided to try the “Pandora radio” that my friend in  raves about. On my well setup computers, its utterly brilliant. I made a station based on a few bands i like just to see what kind of results it would spit out. i was plesantly surprised by the number of great songs and bands that came out. some id never heard of entirely, and others id heard of but never got around to listening to. so the program itself is a brilliant idea.

As such i decided to get it on my Ipod. Now, before i go any further there is a few things I must address.

Firstly – I am not a fan of Apple Products. The Ipod is the only apple product i use that’s name isn’t Itunes. the only reason i use Itunes is because it is far better then windows media player in my opinion, despite the fact they consistently try and change its layout on me every time they “Update” (Read Downgrade) it. The olny reason i use an Ipod is because in my hometown there are no options in mp3 players with more then four gig capacity, if you dont go the apple route. so earlier this year i bit the bullet and got a 64 gig Ipod touch.

Secondly – Touch screens irk me. last time i tried to use my mothers or brothers Iphone/samsung phones to call someone i ended up in the settings menu. It did not at all go well.  I don’t exactly have large fingers, They are quite long and thin by comparison to some, but i just cant seem to get the hang of touchscreens. I press the wrong button constantly and find myself in screens Ive never seen before in my life. my phone has propper buttons and a seperate screen. as it should be.

Thirdly – Im not entirely convinced that my media player needs to do everything my Desktop computer or laptop computer can do. My disk man never got used as a calculator, My Walkman never saw use as a camera. my record player does not have “apps” and it still works just fine. All i want from my Mp3 player is to hold music and to play that music in good quality.

I guess im a bit old fashioned that way, which is uncommon for people of my generation, i know. But today i decided that my beliefs are well founded and that this multi purpose stuff is best left to machines that run on something slightly more powerful then the average telephone.

I return now to trying to get Pandora working on my Ipod. Thinking “This will be brilliant. While im on the dunny or writing on my laptop in the middle of the night i can listen to new music without using the lappys rather poor quality speakers and waking the house up.

Or so i thought. It took me quite a while to find the app itself because i kept hitting the wrong button and bringing up ads instead of what i wanted. but eventually i worked out how to “Add” the app to my ipod. brilliant. I should be right to go now then? Wrong. I have to sign into my Apple ID account. Fine, I guess that’s not to difficult. Oh wait Ive forgotten the password again, because Apple demands you have a password that the NSA cant crack in 3 years time, featuring capitals (I HATE PASSWORDS THAT HAVE CAPITALS) numbers, lower case letters, spaces, various punctuation things, Symbols,  The deed to your house, your first born child, and all of this must be no less then two thousand characters.

Ok i exaggerated slightly,but its still the only password i have with a capital letter in it, so i promptly forget it the two times a year i require it, So i change password, again where it tells me i cant have a password ive used in time since the universe went bang and made a big mess. Eventually i got past past the stupid login stage. Awesome. so now I should be able to download now right?

Well you’d be wrong again. Now it wants me to verify my credit card. give me strength. Now i do not intend on buying anything through this site. Nothing at all. I have always preferred the Hard copy of a CD over a digital copy, though in a few situations i have made do with a digital copy (Most notably “Rare” songs)

So i go and find the bloody card and input the details, after it tries telling me that i actually have an “Alto card” which i most definitely do not have by the way (Ive never even heard of an Alto Card.) After i corrected this very unexpected issue, I finally get in to download the app. FINALLY.

I fire it up preparing to listen to to some music for a few hours before i finally fall asleep. That is until after the very first song im hit with an ad. Okay. I guess i can handle that, it helps keep the program free. Then just two songs later i cop another ad. another two songs down the line and a third ad and Ive had it.

I did look into an adblocker for the Ipod but unlike its desktop computer counterparts, they are difficult to setup and even harder to find a decent one that doesn’t want to charge you money to block your ads, and after three hours wasted trying to listen to some music I promptly gave up and went back to the tried and true method.

So fuck the Ipod. Ill run the frigging program through my damn lappy and courtesy of certain browser addons i do not have to deal with everfucking ads every two songs. After all, im only looking for some new music to share on my Radio Program on Thursday nights.

As RZZR is a legitimate radio station and the artists get paid each time i play their music on air, nothing is being done illegally. I spend enough money on CD’s, Vinal and Digital music to send me broke fortnightly, and my music collection is fairly impressive, However living in a semi rural Australian town, I don’t get a whole lot of choice in our local CD stores, so the internet is where i discover most of the artists i play in my shows.

So please Apple, Think of the poor Artists here. make your damn toys easier to operate. I think its just a bit of an Ipain to have to go through all that rigmarole just to try and listen to music.

Or alternatively Ill just use my damn PC to find and store music, and do what i was going to do in the first place with the Ipod – It holds music, nothing more. Okay, mabey ill keep the gameboy emulator too.

One last final note. DON’T MAKE ME USE A CAPITAL LETTER IN MY PASSWORDS! I NEVER REMEMBER THAT IT EXISTS!

The End Of An Era. (Goodbye To Top Gear)

Now i may be a bit of a “Captain Slow” when it comes to current affairs, For instance i tend to ignore most of the “News” now days because it bores me dreadfully, but this week after more then a month of on and off binge watching i finally finished the 2002 reboot of the motoring show “Top Gear (UK)”. Twenty two glorious seasons of rev head goodness.

Now before I get to far in, id like to point out that i am not a motoring enthusiast. “Car People” have always bored me to tears as they drone on forever about their “Horsepowers”, “Diff Ratios”  and “Turbos” and such gibberish that means absolutely naught to me.

This is the primary reason why i practically ignored Top Gear while it was on telly here in Australia. I thought the show was another of those programs that tell you the inner workings of the engines and how to change a cam shaft, or some other equally dreary nonsense. My god was i wrong.

Eventually i caught a couple of episodes of the show, because my father watches it from time to time and he has liked cars forever, and has been known to drone on from time to time about his various cars.

To my surprise in the episodes i did see there was no daft and boring moaning on about how wonderful their new racing windscreen wipers were or how marvelous their tweaked gazillion horsepower engine in the new car was.

This is when i saw the show for what it is. A far cry from the overly factual and frankly boring people Ive heard talk about cars in the past, The three hosts: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were not those kind of presenters who would go into immaculate detail about the newest smart car or how environmentally friendly the latest Ferrari is, in endless mind numbing details.

In fact to the contrary Clarkson seems to dismiss the inner workings of most cars as “Witchcraft” and aside from starting each review with the Horsepower, Torque, and the various other mumbo jumbo statistics car people talk about, The man barely mentions those meaningless numbers after the first few minutes.

His reviews of cars then ranges from driving them in spectacularly beautiful places on roads that just look made for the car to sliding them sideways around the Top Gear test track to driving them in places that you might not expect. then instead of rabbiting on with the details of how the car handles on paper, he tells you what it feels like, as hes doing it.

This means instead of “The triple headed curve bank suspension will give the ride of your life, while the purr of the V12 is akin to that of a mountain lion” He says “The Ride is comfortable, And the Engine makes a good noise.” He tells the review in a language that anyone can understand, Be it a high end golfing banker to the hard working mechanic from Detroit to the reddest of necks in Alabama to the Caravan enthusiasts of the world, You all understand what hes saying.

Now from time to time those “Road Tests” and “Challenges” get a little bizarre. These things ranged from launching a small hatchback into the sea, To invading France, To its ability to house a “Nuclear Weapon” in the boot. I believe in one episode they had to determine if a car was good enough for a mafioso by seeing if there was enough space in the boot for a dead body.

So the show started to grow on me. however what really cemented the idea of watching all twenty two seasons was just one thing. The hosts themselves. While most TV show hosts make you want to gouge their eyes out with a rusty spoon, Clarkson, Hammond and May brought something different to being hosts.

They do insane challenges in rubbish cars, their banter carries the show with a wit and humour that you just don’t get anywhere else, They Argue, Bicker, Fight and downright insult each other over any and everything that can be thought of. Hammond is too short and clumsy, Clarkson is too fat and lead footed, May is too slow and pedantic. The lists go on

This is the only TV show that Ive ever watched that feels like something i could  have filmed with my mates on a Sunday afternoon. Just talking shit about anything and everything. sometimes getting wildly off topic and highly inappropriate, but its fun and exciting to watch.

While TopGear has had a few spin off shows, Notably the Australian and American versions of the show, I think they both failed to capture the charm and interaction we get from the English TopGear. Which brings me to the title of this post.

Unfortunately i began watching the show at the end of an era. Clarkson was fired from the BBC, for punching a producer over food or some such nonsense. While its not entirely surprising, since punching one of your bosses isnt a great way to make friends in the industry. The removal of Clarkson is an enormous loss to what i believe to be one of the greatest televisions shows ever broadcast, Quadrupled so as since Clarkson left the motoring show, his fellow hosts, Hammond and May as well as the long time producer Andy Wilman all having left together, leaving one of the most well know shows on television in their rear view mirror so to speak.

personally, I think the BBC will regret losing Clarkson, Hammond, May and Wilman. Together they did something id not thought possible, They made cars interesting to someone who would rather shave with a cheese grader then hear people talk about cars under normal circumstances. They taught me you can like cars and not be an utter bore.

The hosts each have their own charms they bring to the show, and as such the show without them is going to be very hard time recovering. it doesn’t matter how good or bad the next presenters are for Top Gear, They will constantly be compared to the “Golden Age” Top Gear and the show will probably not last another two seasons without a serious restructure and some brilliant luck in host choices.

I mentioned before im not a motoring enthusiast. To this day I still don’t believe myself to be a “Petrol Head”. I appreciate a good looking car when i see them, but ill never have a car as my desktop wallpaper on my computers. I still have absolutely no interest in hearing about how wonderful your Wankel engine sounds, and I shall also continue to giggle slightly every time i hear the word “Wankel”.

To me that’s what Top Gear was all about. it was three mates doing dumb shit, arguing, driving cars im never likely to even see in person, cracking jokes at each others expense, breaking stuff, Blowing things up, getting into a lot of trouble, being highly inappropriate at all times and basically having a brilliant time of it.

If I can ever find a job i enjoy even one quarter as much as those blokes enjoyed working for Top Gear, Id say ive found my dream job. For now however, Im left with that feeling we have all had when finishing a good show, that kind of sadness that its over, their aren’t any more episodes to find.

I could actually rant on forever about how much I have enjoyed a show that i once passed off as “reality tv for yobo’s” and in so, realize Ive come full circle. I am now the Motoring Enthusiast that I hate. And on that bombshell, its time to end. Goodnight folks!

ssf VS world of tanks part 1

For those of you who have never heard of world of tanks, Well you are in for a treat. First a few questions:
Do you like Army tanks?
Do you like blowing stuff up?
Would you like to break historical tanks with other historical tanks with no risk to your own personal saftey?

If you answered yes, then World Of Tanks is probably for you. Being the Australian i am, I play on the South East Asia Server.  The link is http://worldoftanks.asia/
of course if you live in America or Europe, they have their own servers for the game, SO you will get less lag there. I started on the American server, because at the time there was no such thing as the south east asia server. i migrated over once it was released.

So the whole idea of this game? well think games like counterstrike. But everyone is in tanks. And jumping is harder, And more dangerous to yourself. There are a pile of maps, hundreds of tanks split into several “Races” of tanks. American, German, Russian, French, British, Chinese and Japanese are the current teams.

Now unlike MMOs you arent limited to fighting alongside people of your “Race” games select 15 tanks of the same or close teirs from everyone who is currently playing the game, (So tier 2 tanks olny fight teir 1-3 basically. Or tier 8s will fight tiers 6-10)

Well i have a pretty solid account on the SEA server that i started years ago. Got quite a few tier 10s and lots and lots of other tiers. However i thought, Hmm since im starting a blog, i might as well make a new account, and start afresh. so thats exactly what i did.

now heres what im going to do for this account. Im going to purchace a premium tank, which one i dont know yet, since without them, Grinding credits becomes an awful chore, So we will get to that later, but for now we are deciding apon which “Race” to start as, YOu can start as any of the nationalitys, since you get the tier 1 tank for every “Race” currently in the game. Tier 1 tanks are purely to let people learn the game, and can be a lot of fun shooting up noobies.

Now my last account was primarily German and Russian. I do have tanks from all nationalitys, but German was my primary choice. I have The mighty bullet shield that is the Maus. The maus was a prototype german tank designed during world war two, Olny two chassis were ever built and neither saw action, but the russians captured one at the end of the war and shot it full of holes.

The Maus was my first tier 10 tank, and probally my favorite tank in the game. It has the largest health pool of all tanks in WoT and its role is basically bullet shield. It has massive armour plates on all sides, Making it the heaviest armoured tank in the game as well. However its also the slowest tier 10 tank, with a top speed of just 20 kmph, Downhill with a tailwind. So i like armour over speed. But playing the same tank over and over gets dull after a couple of years so this account i will not be going the german Heavy tank lines.

Im thinking mabey the American heavy tank line, OR perhaps the Chinese medium tank line. We will see as i go on. NOw lets play a few games.

First game – Stock standard T1 Cunningham!
The T1Cunningham is basically an armed tractor built by the americans during world war 2. Stock standard, Well the tank is pretty bad. The gun is really inacurate, takes forever to aim and we are basically made out of glass.

Our team had a bad start, with one guy killing a teammate, and another guy killing the Team Killer. This tends to happen occasionally. Our luck didn’t improve. I was killed by a Renault tractor looking thing hiding behind a rock. Guess im slower then i thought. But have no fear, In world of tanks, death is only temporary! For i can just leave battle (since there is no respawning) and take another tank while i wait for that battle to finish! (however by the time i wrote that and got back to the menu our Cunningham was ready to go again)

So we used some of the “Research Points” or “RP” for short to upgrade our tank. For 60 RP we upgraded our engine to a more powerful V8 engine. Should solve our speed issues for a while anyway.

Our second battle found us on my most hated map in the entirety of the game. Malinovka. This map i often refer to as “Campicnovka” because its an extremely defense based map, so both sides tend to camp until time runs out.

I however Ran the Gauntlet along the bottom of the map, shells wizzing past and parked out front of their defensive buildings, this meant my teammates could spot the enemy from our side and could cover me.

I actually killed a tank myself and did a lot of damage to others before they finally got me. Pretty good battle for a Cunningham. Time for a different tank!

Next we decided to take the Renault and get our french Tank on. It looks kinda like a duck. Now i had actually played a few games in the Renault before, so it had quite a bit of exp sitting around, Enough to fully upgrade it! We now have a fully decked out tank! If only we could find a game. (We waited over 4 min for a game)

But the wait was worth it. Myself and a fully upgraded T1Cunningham went hill in Himmelsdorf (my favorite map of all time) and no one on the enemy team did, so we had free reign to shoot tanks in the streets below. I got two kills and nearly killed two more. I got over 5k credits for winning that battle, without premium! Time to buy our first new tank!

Our first tank will be the H35 french tank. it cost us around 6,000 credits. (practically paid for by the last game!)

However the crew in this tank were not very good. only 60% skill. This was gonna take a while to level up. and it turns out especially when both tank commanders die in my tank, so even with 35 hit points left, im out of the battle. Tough break, Time for the T1Cunningham again!

the mighty T1 did better this game, scoring a kill and being partially responsible for my team winning.

after around 20 games i was up to Tier 3 in the American heavy line, Tier 2 (but very close to 3) In the French heavy line and had made enough credits to buy my tier 3 American tank, The M3 Stuart

Ill leave it at that for today since basically now im gonna be grinding up crews and leveling their gear. Catch yas next time!

Tier 1s ftw
the first win of the day.