Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good, Bad and unsurprising.


The Good

Harmonix have announced that they will be creating a Beatles themed game (not Rock Band - but likely similiar). I just have to hope now that no stupid exclusivity deal is stuck prior to it's Holiday 2009 release. Alos hoping that the GHWT instruments will also be compatible idc.

The Bad

David Tennant is quiting as Doctor Who. He just has the 08 Christmas special then a further 4 specials next year then it will be the end for the 10th and one of the best incarnations of the Doctor.

The Unsurprising

My tenant has still not moved out....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flat issues and stress

Okay…I’m going to try to get all my stress out of my system.

I have been stressed up to my eyeballs for the last few days, and I think its done havoc to my health and general immune system (and quite definitely my general mood and demeanour). So, I thought I’d put my blog to good use and rant on here.

It started last Thursday after we had returned back after a very pleasant and indulgent trip away to Jersey for a few days. The tenant (whom I shall not name) from the flat which we own below our maisonette, came to see me and explain that she was intending to move out on the Saturday (i.e. within 2 days) with the intention of moving away from the Island. She explained that she had arranged for someone else to move in and in effect take over her lease which doesn’t expire until June 2009 and as such she wanted her deposit back.

I explained to her that this was not acceptable, for a number of reasons:

* The notice she had given us was frankly ludicrous.

* She had signed to lease to June 2009 and there is no clause in the lease allowing her lease to be transferred to another person.

* We had no idea who the person was that she had intended take over her lease, plus he had no references and by the sounds of things was unable to provide any references (never a good sign).

* Once she had finished with the property we did not have any intention of reletting it out publically.

* The main reason for this being that my parents will shortly be in need of accommodation and as such, the flat was going to be used by them.

* By quitting the premises early she would be invalidating her lease and as such would not be entitled to the deposit back.

* I also pointed out that she was still in arrears with outstanding rent going back several months and also had in effect been in the property for several days without paying the current monthly rent as such, there was no way that she would be entitled to all of the deposit back.

She was not happy about this, and as a consequence I offered her a reasonable compromise, so long as she left on the Saturday. She however, did not accept this and instead indicated that she would accept that she would be unable to get her deposit back and instead would be leaving this coming Wednesday.

I spoke to her again this morning, and it now seems that she will be doing her very best to make things as humanly difficult for us. She has junk discarded in the garden (which is shared with us). An abandoned vehicle in her parking space (which is unlikely to be removed prior to her departure and she will not accept our help to arrange for this to be removed). She in all likelihood will be leaving numerous items behind in the flat (when she eventually goes), which we will have to deal with. Also, several aspects of the flat are not being left in a particularly good state of repair. She is also indicating that she might as well stay in the flat for as long as possible as she has “paid up” for the month (referring to her deposit), which she clearly hasn’t.

I’m therefore expecting that we will be forced to evict yet another tenant and also in addition, have heap of crap to sort out in addition to this. All extra time, money and effort on our part, all of which has been doing my head in.

I wouldn’t normally post about such personal matters on my blog, but sod it.

I really could do without all this rubbish, what will my operation coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sammy and Worlds End

Film watched:

Pirate of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

Not terrible, just not good. Sloppy convoluted film


I’ve been meaning to write about my Samsung LE55A956 55" LCD TV (named “Sammy” for some time now, just haven’t had too much time… But anyway, here is a summary of my thoughts:

I previously owned (and still – do, haven’t sold it yet) a 50” plasma, so the jump in size by 5” isn’t too big, although it is definitely still noticeable. Also, even though it is slightly bigger than my plasma, it is actually slightly lighter. It was still, however, rather difficult taking the LCD up two flights of stairs to reach my lounge (which in my house is actually situated in a converted attic room).

The most important aspect of this LCD though is the picture quality, and in this area it really does excel. Compared to my plasma and also my smaller LCD (now sold), it really is a marvel. The blacks are deep and inky and the colours vibrant. In fact the blacks are so black that it is a little disconcerting at first. 100Hz motion plus handles fast motion beautifully, certainly better than any other plasma or LCD out there. Obviously, with most top end TV’s the picture quality is vastly dependant upon the source, i.e. if you have poor quality SD output, the LCD will show all it’s faults, but with high quality HD output the result are absolutely stunning. Blu-ray is always an absolute winner. I have also found that SD DVD’s upscaled by my PS3 are also absolutely stunning, some of them are even nearing Blu-ray quality.

What I have found, however, is that I’m constantly tweaking the settings. I’ve had the LCD for some time now, and still on a daily basis, I’m amending the settings pretty much whenever I watch anything. This is just me, playing with a new toy, trying my best to reach the perfect balance and perfect picture. I’ve settled down a bit now, but still make the odd adjustments here and there.

Now I’ll address a couple of issues about the LCD and my thoughts in regards to these:

LED Blooming:
I have read that some people have issue with LED bloom, namely when there is a single bright object on the screen and a black background, that this creates a halo like effect around the object (because the individual LED’s cover a larger area than the pixels in use. I must say that this is rarely noticeable and viewing the LCD from dead centre, is barely an issue at all. In my opinion what very little blooming there is, is FAR outweighed by the benefit of deep and an incredible contrast ratio.

Off axis viewing:
Like most LCD’s, the picture quality of this set diminishes depending upon the viewing angle, however, this is exaggerated by the LED backlighting. As such to get the best from the picture you really need to be sitting dead centre in front of the TV. If you move 10 feet either way the benefit of the LED backlighting begins to diminish. This isn’t really an issue with me, as I will generally sit in front of the TV and have my settee arranged with the TV in mind (because I’m that sad). This could only really be an issue for people with big families, or with lounges arranged without the TV in mind.

Input lag:
Because of the LED backlighting, 100Hz motion plus and various other bells and whistles with the TV, there is a slight input lag on the LCD. Namely, when playing games on the LCD there is a delay between the controller and the action on screen. This has been measured to be around 60 milliseconds, so it’s not that great and in all honestly I don’t notice it at all generally. The exceptions to this are very time critical games such as Guitar Hero, where it is slightly noticeable. Thankfully there is a game mode which drops the input lag dramatically to around 30 milliseconds, which is similar to most top end LCD’s. The only frustrating part is that you are unable to change the settings of game mode, and as such, I am unable to adjust the contrast to my liking. This is, however, only a minor niggle and otherwise I’m perfectly happy with the LCD for my gaming needs.

So to summarise, I’m extremely pleased with my purchase. It is a fantastic LCD which undoubtedly has some of the riches colours and deepest blacks on the market. What’s more, compared to the price of the Sony, Philips and Sharp LED backlight set due to be released soon, it seems like a bargain.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

11 1/2 stone :)

Since January this year I have been aiming on getting my weight down to 11 1/2 stone, which, as I remember it, was my weight when I left school at the tender age of 17. Today I reached that goal...

I don't know exactly what my starting weight was, but it was certainly over 13 1/2 stone, so I'm rather pleased with how I've done.

Anyway, just to prove it:

My weight today, as per Wii Fit

A chart of my weight since starting Wii Fit (it was much highter in January)

The new slimmer Mii

Thursday, October 09, 2008


So far the best thing to come out of TGS 2008 by a along mile...

Backbeat & impressive upscaled SD

Film watched:

Surprisingly good dramatisation. Slightly inaccurate in places, but still enjoyable.


I have been meaning to post about my new LCD for days - just don't seem to be able to find the time. I will say, however, that even SD DVD's upscaled via the PS3 look absolutely stunning. Not quite up there with HD content, but still surprisingly close.

I also noticed yesterday that the fan on my PS3 was sounding a little louder than normal. Not 360 loud, but still louder than I've had before. Maybe it's because it is no longer standing upright? I'll have to experiment...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Haven't really had much time to blog of late - but thought it worthwhile to mention that I went to the specialist yesterday and have made arrangements to have my operation to have my gall bladder removed. It's been booked for 14 November (a week after my birthday). I'll only be in hospital for a day or two, but I'll be signed off for 2 weeks in order to recover

I must confess that I'm a little uneasy about this whole operation business as I'ven ever had anything like this before. Also, the prospect of have a whole organ removed (even a small one), is more than a little unsettling. Then again, if left unattended, things will only get worse.

Oh well (and all that)...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Got it

I have my LCD :)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

DSi & revived franchises

Well it looks like I was partially right:


- Slightly thinner than the DS Lite, but also ever so slightly bigger
- No GBA slot
- Larger screens (17% bigger)
- Plays MP3’s and AAC.
- Includes 2 camera’s, one on the outside with is 3 megapixels and one on the inside hinge .3 megapixels
- SD Memory card slot
- Built in internet browser
- Internal flash memory
- Opportunity to Download DSiWare games
- Due to launch November in Japan and Spring in Europe

Revived franchises for the Wii

- Punchout
- Sin and Punishment 2 (wooh!)

Wii storage issue

- As from Spring 2009, games can be stored on SD cards.

Well I was seconds away from preordering the DSi on import from Japan, when my sense got hold of me. I can foresee possible compatibility issues with the DSiWare games, and would not want that. Also, Spring 2009 isn’t too much time to wait.

I just hope my current Ds Lite holds out until then, as it has developed a big nasty crack on the frame (in addition to a small one on the hinge). I blame frantic playing on Guitar Hero, but then again I do tend to use my DS a hell of a lot (probably more so than my Wii and PS3 combined).

Anyway, all good stuff.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Big N conference

Film watched:
Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Equally grand and silly and awash with inacuratisms. Mildly entertaining.


Well, it would seem that Nintendo are holding a big press conference tomorrow (not sure what time) and the rumours have been flying around the internet like wild fire. Will a new design of DS be unvieled, a new HD Wii or a reboot of one of their old franchises?

My money is on either of the following:

1) A new DS with multimedia features (camera, flash storage), but slimmer than the lite, at the expense of the loss of the GBA slot.

2) A new Kid Icarus game.

Or alternatively, both of the above.

I very much doubt that they would announce revisions to either the DS or the Wii just before Christmas (unless of course they were launching before Christmas - which would be unlikely) as this would hit their sales in a big way.

Then again, they must be drowning in money at the moment.

Anyway, it'll probably be nothing, just a lot of rumour and speculation. We'll find out tomorrow.