Monday, 29 March 2010

Gaming Fanboy – I think not

I have just been reading this article on Kotaku about ‘The Making of a Video Game Fanboy’ and I was thinking what am I… A Fanboy or just a gamer and what is the difference?

The article talks a lot about the obsessive fans of consoles and how they are developed. I can see why they exist and how they have come about. For instance I grew up on a PC using DOS 6 and Window 3.1. I understand the PC and windows operating system. I don’t always like it (for instance I use Firefox as my browser) but I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in Windows to be able to ‘nut’ out issues and problems and be able to find answers or do the stuff I want to.

However get me in front of an Apple Mac and I am lost – I couldn’t even begin to tell you how to find programs or files etc. I guess I would learn but it would be a steep climb. Even thought I have Safari and iTunes on my PC and we both own iPods. (and truth be told Anjel would love a MacBook)

I see the consoles as a similar thing it’s what you are use to or what you have used the most.

I didn’t have a console growing up. Friends had Commodore 64’s, Nintendo’s (in various forms – I have acquired a Nintendo 64 in recent years), Atari 2600 (which I have now as a 2nd hand model with a few games), and Playstation etc. However I did have a PC and used that for gaming from my early teens.


Then the PS2 came out. I was working in a good paying job, single and fancy free. And my mate Darren was buying one on launch day! I took the morning off to buy my PS2 and all the accessories (extra controller, memory card and Gran Turismo 3) it totalled … well close to $700 (AUD) and I was excited – very excited to finally be at the cutting edge of console gaming.

I played a lot of games and even bought old PS1 games and many new PS2 games and kind of became a PS fanboy – as it was the only console I had ever own (at the time) and it was new and exciting and I along with Darren were some of the first people we knew with one. I still have that Console and it still works although I have played it not in the last 2-3 years…

So like the various scenario's in the article I became a fanboy of the console that I first owned. Xbox came out and although I was tempted I didn’t get one (even though Darren did – but he does has all the consoles… no seriously! even a Dreamcaster…)

Then while working at a electronics' store I managed to get a Nintendo 64 and an Xbox at a reasonable price – both where returns to the store, classed as faulty – which after I tested them proved to be incorrect and probably just returned so that the customer could get there money back. So I then had all the current consoles that where out and about.

xbox nintendo_64_pokemon

(and yes I got the Pokemon version – I am sooo gamer!)

So I went from a one console man to an multi-console almost over night. I had a massive amount of games to catch up on and almost no time to do it!!! I really enjoyed the Xbox and the ‘different’ sort of games it had to the PS2 and the Nintendo 64 was fun and almost retro in nature.

wii_console2Which is probably why I then bought the Wii when it came out – it promised fun and multi-player games, a different controller system and was soooo much cheaper then the Xbox 360 and soon to be release PS3. I loved playing the Wii and got quite a few retro games via Virtual Console, it was and still is a great party console although I did/do love Mario Galaxy as a solo game and of course Zelda in it’s many forms.

Then came the crunch. I needed to step up and choose out of the big two PS3 or Xbox 360. As I said I had history and ties to the PS2 and PS franchise I loved the times spent playing many games, loved the social fun of Singstar and the car racing (and tuning) in the Gran Turismo series. Yet what pushed me over the edge what made me choose to buy a Xbox 360 was not nostalgia (yes I had an Xbox but it still was played less then the PS2) instead I looked at my friends – the people I game with and associate with in gaming term. They all had one common tread – the Xbox 360.

Xbox360full_500x526So whilst I see the point of view of the article above and I can agree with it in many ways. If things where different I would probably own a PS3 – no doubt – but only because I could afford one I had to choose for reasons other then fanboy feelings. In the end I used my reason for gaming – social fun interaction – to choose the Xbox 360 as my number one console.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Kate Hana Harnwell

So it happened, the birth I mean.

We went to bed Friday night, Anji a lot earlier then me (10.30pm) I crashed in a bit later at midnight or there abouts – I read for a bit then finally got off to sleep at 1.00am.

1.30am Anji awoke with a cry

I think my waters have broken!

Amazingly she got out of bed, so the fluid only went on the lino floor (easy to mop). After a quick clean up and shower we rang the hospital who advised us to come in as there is a risk of infection.

At the hospital, after having to gain entrance via emergency!. We were met by some very lovely Midwives who check Anji’s temp and blood pressure etc before finding us a room to wait for the on set of true labour… Then nothing happened… all night, all the next morning all Anji had were slightly short and infrequent contractions.

I went home at 2pm to have a sleep for an hour or so while Anji’s Mu, Debbie, sat with Anji. By the time I got back to the hospital after a sleep and a shower it was close to 4pm and things were sorta heating up.

Anji was having stronger contractions and they were getting more constant.

At about 4.30pm I started to count them and after 40 mins of good strong contractions I called the midwife. It was almost time… we started to move about with Anji leaning on me during the contractions and I could tell they were getting closer and stronger each time as she took longer to recover and leaned heavier on me.

About 6pm we moved into the deliver room, Anji was examined to see how far she was, about 3 cm, and the Midwife started to fill the HUGE bath and then taught Anji how to use the gas and got us all ready to have a nice warm bath while we got over the first part of ‘real’ labour.

After getting Anji into the bath, at about, I managed to get Anji to one end where I could kneel behind her (outside the bath) and spray the warm shower head on her belly to help ease the pain while she sucked on the gas… and boy did she suck!

The Midwife popped in to see if all was OK saying to page her on the button if I needed help.

Some time later I noticed Anji was having stronger and stronger contractions – this was not being eased by the gas and in my mind was getting worse. I paged the midwife.

Walking in the Midwife stopped for a second then asked Anji if she felt like pushing?

Wait I thought how did we get to this point already?

After a quick exam the midwife simply said “This baby is coming now”. She went off and grabbed all the gear and paged an assistant.

The midwife asked Anji to get out of the bath as we were ready to deliver. After all the gas she had had that was not an option Anji’s legs had turned to jelly… “Well we’ll have the baby here then” said the midwife.

Anji started bearing down, the pain increased a hell of a lot, so much so she felt like she was going to die! The midwife assured us she was not… but the gas had to go and I must say the Midwife did a brilliant job unplugging the gas so all Anji had was the mouth piece.

As Anji’s body began to push she also began to grab me harder, on the shoulders and arm her whole back arching up as she pushed down. “push like you are doing a really big poo” said the midwife… my thoughts are best left out at this point… and my ears were kinda hit hard with Anji’s cries but I helped as I could by holding her and talking to her about how well she was doing and how it would soon be over.

The midwife paged her assistant who popped in, they talked for a moment, discussing how much head they could see and that it would be another 15-20 minutes. So the assistant went to leave when our attending midwife called her back “it’s happening now”.

No sooner had she turned back from calling but she was holding baby out of the water. The cord only just allowing her to get above water. Quickly the assistant grabbed the clamps and scissors asking if I wanted to cut the cord, “hell yeah!” and I jumped up and around to cut the cord and release my baby into the world.

FYI: Kate Hana Harnwell is named after the character Anji was playing in She Stoops to Conquer Kate Hardcastle (before we knew she was there) and Hana is Japanese for Flower, where we went just after the play finished (again before we knew she was there).

DSCN1354Here she is only a few minutes old in her Mum’s arms


The proud Mum and Dad

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With her Cousins

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Her uncles

DSCN1386 DSCN1378 DSCN1391

Her Aunties (poor Mel I didn’t get a good shot of her!)

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And of course The Grandparents (to be updated with Mickey)

DSCN1400 Peter Rabbit…

Alone in a VERY big bed!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Hobbity Goodness

Mygoodfriend Jeff has probably already gone through several pairs of pants due to this news but I think it still has to be said…

The Hobbit will begin filming in July this year. It is expect to take a year or more… AND they are filming two movies…

According to studio New Line, the first film will be an adaptation of The Hobbit, the novel Tolkien published before his Lord of the Rings cycle.

The second will be an original story focusing on the 60 years between the book and the beginning of the Rings trilogy.


I’m just glad that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are writing the script…

Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf

The long wait begins.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

New Layout

To celebrate the new year… umm or something like that!

I have a new layout…

That all I really had to say. Byeeeeeeeee


It seems that my past is revisiting… Suede are playing in London on the weekend. A reunion get together of sorts… still no Bernard but then again he was only in the band for the first 2 big albums – and still has so much effect on there sounds even though.

To celebrate both the band and the getting back together here is one of my favourites…

And to show all the non-believers Bernard Butler…

Fable 2

I have borrowed Fable II of a friend – I thought I needed something to play to keep my mind off the Impending Doom or else I am a glutton for punishment.

Either way it is a really fun game and I am enjoying being able to grab a few moments here and there to play it. Not that I can say I have played it right through (I doubt I am even more then a 10% into it at the moment).

The game play is very much RPG, with the typical Fable elements like owning a house, getting married having kids etc. Some of the achievements leave my wondering… The Bigamist??? and others are a little more fun – The Goth – dye your hair black, wear an outfit entirely out of black clothes and wear some black makeup… reminds me of High School.


What you should also notice from the image above is how UTTERLY beautiful this game is. i don’t have a HD TV, just a relatively normal widescreen CRT but it still looks great (the text is sometime hard to read) and this and other images just prove my point!


I’m very impressed with the look and feel of this game and … well to be honest I’m off to play an hour or so right now…

Catch you soon…

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Long time between drinks…

Yes it has been a while since I posted something here.

Life has taken over as you probably can imagine – getting everything ready for the arrival of the Impending Doom (as we have started to call it)

Why Impending Doom? I hear you ask. Well that is easy to answer. It seems that most of our friends and family seem to feel the need to tell Anjel and myself how horrible the who birth experience is. Oh and to also mention how horrible it is to have sleep-less nights and a screaming child… Therefore this must be Impending Doom that is about to wash over our lives.

But wait… I am one of Three Children, Anjel one of two and most of our friends and family seem to have had more then one sibling or child themselves… If it is this bad and horrid why the hell do they go back for seconds or thirds or more?

What is the point of all this Doom-talk? Is it to prove that other people have had to go through something bad or is it just to make you feel bad if you have a ‘good’ birth experience?

Some people even seem to have the opinion that choosing (as we have) to deliver our bub at the maternity ward at our local hospital is in some ways ‘bad’ - ‘cause as we all know hospitals are evil and Doctors just want to ‘cut you open’. Excuse me!!! I know surgeons they hate having to operate when they can get away with it… it interrupts Golf you know! Besides I also know of mothers who would be dead now… get that DEAD if it wasn’t for a good Doctor who operated and not only saved Mum but Baby as well. Is that a bad thing?

Look I am very certain that having a Baby – i.e. giving birth – is not going to be a walk in the park. It’ll be one of the hardest things Anjel has to do… And I’ll be pleased as punch when it is all over and she has reached the goal of bringing this new life into the world. But I am sure (certain) that we will get through it and be better people because of it. I don’t care if Anjel uses every drug the hospital has – I don’t care if at some point the Midwife says I think she’ll need a C-Section. I hope and pray that Anjel has as ‘normal’ a delivery as possible and baby and Mum come out smiley and happy BUT I also am open to whatever is needed at the time.

And to that end – this blog will not tell stories of horror and mayhem… I will write about horrible experiences around birth. Just the truth. It will not be a Baby Blog either! I’m still do my normal things!