9 Dec 2008

World of Reseller-craft

The long-awaited second expansion to World of Warcraft, "Wrath of the Lich King", arrived last month. Being caught in the Cambridge bubble, I wasn't quite exposed to the mass media hype and bandwagon made out of the fact that several thousand elves and gnomes descended on Oxford Street HMV. But, being a self-respecting Warcraft-lover, I picked up my copy of Wottulk at the local GAME store, but sadly not collector's edition. Wasn't quite on time to put up a pre-order reservation it seems.

As a side-note, I was told by the clerk there that only 4 of their projected 10-20 CE copies arrived on the day, the rest being stolen off the back of a van. I have no qualms about losing out on a pre-order out of First Come First Serve lottery basis, but I truly felt sorry for those customers who'd be turning up to here their honest copy had been stolen, and was probably halfway to the locations listed below...

Amazon and the like had naturally sold out of pre-ordered collector's edition copies within the first hour of listing. That was to be expected. What rather annoyed me was to see a certain message arrive in my GMail on arriving home with WotLK in hand that afternoon...
"Greetings Dobblesworth,
We here at Amazon are a bunch of spineless b******s, and are pleased to announce that we are allowing the lucrative practise of first-day reselling to continue on our proud website. As a result, we have noticed that these companies on our second-hand reseller listings have put up your desired product for three times the initial value, in complete and unopened packaging.
Have a nice day."

eBay was similar, but I believe in those initial weeks the resellers were being more rational and asking for £20-60 rather than some of the £150+ I saw on Amazon. I think now the only CE's left up there are determined powersellers looking for the $$$ rather than the "awww thanks for a random collector's edition box for my birthday dad, but I play Everquest" kids perhaps.

So yes, that is the rant for the day: eBay/Amazon resellers of pristine unused highly-sort-after items should be scourged from this land. You make no friends when you stride out to make a quick 200% profit off a WoW nerd's desire to stride around with a soundtrack album, a shinier box, and a little Frost Whelp pet.

Commentary on the game itself to follow.

20 Nov 2008

// Commented

using namespace std;

int main()

Today I meandered over to the Guildhall, where the Cambridge University Engineering Society today hosted its Annual Careers Fair. An assortment of companies were present, including the likely suspects of BP, Shell & Rolls Royce, as well as others like British Sugar, who apparently don't just do sugar but also tomatoes, and various others who, as is the case with most of these corporate events, are only interesting for the freebies.

My shopping bag today consisted of:

2x highlighter - Faber Maunsell | Aecom, Shell

3x biro pens - Faber Maunsell (again), ARM, British Sugar

1x blue plastic 'Frisbee'/non-aligned flying disk toy you play Ultimate with - Sentec

1x orange foam boomerang - Tandberg. I've given this a try and for the most part it just flies in a vague forward arc with little suggestion of a return path. Might need more space.

1x stress ball in the form of a ripe red tomato - British Sugar

1x blue squidgy foam armchair for the resting of mobile phones - ARM [geddit?]

1x hand-crank dynamo-powered emergency mobile phone charger/torch - ARM. Bearing the cunning text of "ARM-powered". I c wut u did thar.

I also gave this item a trial run, and the torch element wouldn't be something I'd immediately leap for in a crisis. Takes a good deal of gyrating to get a current going, and the bulb promptly cuts out when the crank stops turning. Needs a capacitor mode I reckon.

The image of note from today's post is a screenshot I took of the Faber Maunsell website. Now, being a cautious Firefox user, I browse almost always with the NoScript addon active. This handy little device essentially blocks all JavaScript, flash plug-ins and coding that websites have by default, but informs me of elements that are being blocked, who owns them, and whether I want them on my whitelist or not. Essentially, I don't want my browser to pick me up a keylogger on my travels.

So anyways I take a trip to Faber Maunsell out of common interest and see the crazy text:
// Provide alternate content for browsers that do not support scripting
// or for those that have scripting disabled.
and it made me smile. Having dabbled my hand with C++ these past weeks and following a few years of awareness to the xkcd community, it amused me to see // COMMENTED! lines appearing in a website's final display to the viewer. It also seems like the second line was an after-thought or edit from a second developer. First goes in there, types the code with either normal users or those stuck on Netscape in mind. Second checks it out and adds the third category - overly cautious JavaScript annihilators.

But yeh, // for the win really.

Those concerned about yesterday's musings reading "2nd post in a week" and seeing it paralleled with one listed for 12 days beforehand: here's an explanation. That post was initially drafted a few days after seeing QoS, but it wasn't until last Friday, 14th November, that I finished it off and posted it. Curse ye Blogger and your definition of 'post date'. Those who are seriously pedantic can have the "two posts that went from start to finish in a seven-day timespan" now I suppose.

return 0;

19 Nov 2008

I, for one, welcome our new dobblogger overlords.

Observant readers may possibly notice a subtle switch in poster profile names from this point on. Here's a low-down for you, comrades.

Up until now I have been working on Blog Title Under Construction using a Google Blogger account derived from my Hotmail e-mail. As one can never have too many e-mail accounts (I operate off four these days), I initiated a GMail account, which of course comes with the Google Account items such as Blogger profiles.

Now, as signing in to two Google Accounts frequently during sessions for keeping tabs on my GMail and posting here/wallowing in self-pity seeing "Comments (o)", can get quite tiresome, I followed a mini-tutorial for switching blogs between accounts (http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=41448&topic=12500), so did a bit of a switcheroo. Dobmeister/Dobmiestre derived from my HMail GAccount, ceded command to Dobblesworth d'GMail.

All three are seamlessly connected online entities of yours truly, so don't expect any change in editorial stylings.

Wow, two postings in the space of a week, I feel this calls for a celebration... Toblerone anyone?

7 Nov 2008

It's the Suantum of Quolace!

Good evening world. How goes?

The new Bond film, Quantum of Solace has been met with mixed ratings among the media. It certainly receives one from me. A few weeks ago I went along with a few members of a covert and nameless society of the university I am currently an undergraduate at to check it out. I thought that, on the whole, "Bond 22"/"The Quantum of Solace"/"The Thingy of Whatsit" had its merits and was a good use of 2hrs of my Saturday evening. However, it also had its downfalls, which will merge in here in due course...

- Interesting switch from the more one-off episodes of the Bond franchise, in that it leads directly off the ending of Casino Royale. Oh, mild spoiler warning for this entry by the way ;-)
Whereas your Moonraker's, Goldeneye's and Thunderball's would all introduce the villain, the Bond Girl, the master plan and its demise in a 2hr burst, QoS builds upon the workings of Royale, and implicates CR's antagonists in a wider plot and a shadowy organisation that, much to the concern of surveillance state proposers, even MI6 couldn't track.


LeChiffre in CR is shown to have a certain "Mr. White" working in the shadows behind and around him. This geezer then goes on to blow The Frenchie's brains out when Bond wins in the longest cinema poker match, blackmails Bond's girl Vesper into transferring the casino winnings over to him and his organisation, before off-ing her as well in Venice. Bond shows up before the end credits to blast his kneecaps with what Doom fans might call a Big F***ing Gun Lite at his country mansion. QoS opens with Bond's "Escort Mission" for his foe, bound and gagged in the trunk of a flash Aston Martin.

*End Spoiler, for now*

- In a similar vein, there's some good character development moving off Royale. Daniel Craig may still be a cold-hearted b******, but he's more strongly motivated here, determined mainly by the death of Vesper - a combination of a feeling of betrayal and a desire for revenge. M offers a good line drawing this out in one of the 'board meetings' during it.

*Partial Spoiler*
You don't think about it too much when considering Craig's Bond, but he very sternly states "I am motivated by my duty" at one point; offering insight into the fact that, while he may cause a bit of collateral damage along the way, he's true to his goals, and definitely is going out there 'For Queen and Country'. Especially interesting to see this counter-played by the switching of loyalties and lack of moral conscience of the British politicians and Americans from the CIA.

- Certainly maintained the migration away from over-the-top gadgetry as seen in Moonraker and Die Another Day... Well, to a certain extent:
*Here thar be more spoilers*
~ The Evil Guys take in a performance of Tosca and, spread across a 10,000 seater auditorium, engage in a bit of teleconferencing. Their means of communication? One earphone with a localised wireless network connection to a stylised pinbadge on their lapels concealing a microphone. Not only did they freely chatter together in the auditorium, but I believe they were also linked in internationally.
~ Pulling out his Mobile Phone, Bond manages to get accurate facial recognition shots of moving targets from about 500m away
~ The extent of technology for MI6 offices is ludicrous. Starting on a desk-based touchscreen interface system, features could be effortlessly brought up, shifted along, cross-referenced, before being projected 2 metres across the floor to another system on the wall, then skirted around on to the semi-translucent boardroom window. Somehow through all this mess they get a lead that laundered money was marked by them with a tiny pinprick, this cash was then noticed to have been deposited at point X by man Y who had been seen entering Heathrow at time Z.

- OK that's my discussion of some of the more superficial stuff over. Now, onto the plot. I hope I use the term correctly, but most of the plot seemed to be to be a bit of a MacGuffin. Bond's searching for a root cause of the organisation, yet by the end of it you're left disheartened with a feeling that the surface had only been scratched. You're only really told the name of the umbrella they work for, but essentially the Big Bads for QoS boil down into "Frenchie Neo-Liberal Environmentalist Capitalist" and "Random Army General with aims for a coup in Bolivia". Die Another Day may have had some ludiocrity associated with it, but at least we knew they were pretty big, upper-level Koreans with a more explicit plot for world domination.

- A certain scene features Bond piloting a Ye Olde cargo plane over the desert. It gets peppered with bullets from a fighter. The engine catches fire. The plane is still getting shot at, yet somehow Bond can continue to control it to glide another 15 miles through canyons, before jerking it up the vertical for maximum lift, then flinging themselves out the rear bay door to parachute to safety. Surely they'd have crashed by that point with only one working engine?
- Going directly off this, it takes Bond 95% of his descent to reach his femme fatale with the parachute and yank it open. You see a split-second of footage where it's open before they slam into the ground. Yet somehow they are able to casually walk it off in their dusty evening wear with nary a scratch. I feel like digging out my SUVAT equations here.

- The cataclysmic wrecking of EcoFrenchie's Greenpeace Hotel In The Desert was hilarious. The entire place was filled with biofuel cells, that yes, you guessed it, are hilariously inflammable. Those babies must be pumping out Terawatts of power to explode and combust that vigorously.

- The advertising, oh Lordi Lordi, the advertising. In the 30 mins plus of tripe you get nowadays in advance of a film, heck even in advance of the "These trailers are for films of the same rating standard" spiel, there was so much of the QoS bandwagon jumping.
~ The official game based on the film. AKA slap Quantum of Solace on a generic FPS game and release it on everything from the C64 to the PSP. ... ??? PROFIT!
~ CokeZero tie in with QoS to get a free demo disc of the above. Cunningly done for 007 to be made of CokeZero7.
~ Omega, the watch of James Bond. Yes we know... you said it very explicitly on your empty train to Montenegro...
~ Random plug for the non-memorable arbitrary model classification of the mobile phone Bond uses a heavily modified version of.

Now to finish my ramblings, I present to you a YouTube offering. No the video is not a rickroll, rather a far more impressive theme tune for Quantum of Solace than was given in the movie. Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMoJRLStD9c

12 Jul 2008

A Double-edged Sword

Since March of 2005 I've been a committed player of a certain MMORPG going by the name of "World of Warcraft." You may have heard of it perhaps. Since then I've racked up pushing 200 days of game-time, predominately on my only character to hit the level cap (currently 70), and the only one to have moved beyond level 30.
Those who are interested can check out my sexy dwarf hunter and his various equipment pieces here.

Having played WoW over 3 years now, I've certainly witnessed a lot of the game and surrounding culture. I was around at the start of the Leeroy craze, witnessed such epic events as a day-long war in the battlefield of Alterac Valley - a battleground that since then has gradually been denied of it's grandiose feel, and has been relegated to a fast-paced zergfest; The Scourge Invasion which came with the launch of the Naxxramas raid dungeon - a well-designed server world event that probably won't be offered again, not even with the new expansion. I've had two particularly memorable moments, namely the two dings to the level 60 and 70 level caps respectively, prior and after the Burning Crusade expansion pack. I like to think of myself as being pretty inventive in how I approached those points in the game.

<I did have two images showing the events that got me to levels 60 and 70 respectively, but these got wiped from this blog when I transferred from home desktop to laptop and didn't bring the screenshots with me>

My ding to level 60 followed an extensive night of zombie-slaying in the Plaguelands (about half the total amount of XP for 59 to 60 in one night) and completed by handing in a set of Scourgestones (markers of allegiance to the Scourge held by said zombies) to the Argent Dawn (a multi-racial force of warriors, paladins and priests fighting the aforementioned Scourge), using the XP from the quest to push me up.

In the case of level 70, I utilised the game mechanic that grants experience on discovering new regions of the game world.

Also note the extreme difference in my user interface and various add-on's, essentially marking a difference of 1.5 years and how my playstyle has varied since then.

So yes, essentially I've played WoW for some time now. I won't go into how it's affected my life since I first lifted a copy off the shelf in GAME 3 years ago, that's for another time; rather how I feel the game is for me as a player.
- I enjoy the game. Significantly. I've honestly never had such an engrossing experience as playing World 'o' Warcraft before, and the terrain, character, creature, weapon and game mechanics design never ceases to amaze me.
- I've gotten a lot out of it. Made many friends among guildmates and other players, a few enemies as well... as you do ;-) There's that great sense of camaraderie and feeling of cohesion you get at around 1 o'clock in the morning when that set of 10 of you, spread across Europe and beyond, linked only by bytes of data and strings of 1's and 0's, banded together in a guild, finally finish off a certain boss fight after a night of attempts and weeks of stagnated progress.
- Call it addiction, but I've developed a strong 'bond' to my avatar in the game world - Dobmeister with his ginger beard, as well as his own band of bestial companions a Hunter has at his side in the game world. I think it would honestly break my heart if the plug got pulled on WoW; not much out there that can replace it, not when I've already had my soul latched on to by the merciless Blizzard Entertainment.

However, I do feel that the game currently has become a double-edged sword for me. I get loads out of it, as mentioned above, but now I feel I need something else.

ostly it boils down to guilds and raid content: I am not slating the hardcore element of WoW here. I personally enjoy playing it at a 'hardcore' level, but I want more of it in terms of progress. Currently there are 6 Tiers of raiding content with a few sub-Tiers in between, in terms of gear and the difficulty/quality of the dungeons you and your cohort must battle through. I've only done 1 and 4 [T1 being the first raid level at 'vanilla' WoW stage, T4 being first one at Burning Crusade]. Even then this is limited. Those are the only 2 levels that I've had that chance to experience.

Since I started I've never been in one of those respectable high-flying guilds taking down bosses like Illidan, Nefarian and Kil'jaedan. I've just been a bit-player in a 10-man group that will run Karazhan once a week and get Prince Malchezaar down once in a while. Partly this is down to a lack of hardcore full-on commitment from my part. With a full-time job I don't have that chance to sit down at 4pm, power through until 2 in the morning and get an Archimonde kill before crashing out; neither do any of the guilds I wind up in it seems.

As a matter of fact, charting my game history, all of my guild involvements going back to December 2006 (a full 1.5 years now) have been tracked to one point of signing up to guild A, which then collapsed to partially form B, merging with C, splitting to form D, splitting again to form E and then merging finally to F, where I am now.

All the constant recruitment messaging you see on chat channels never has any openings for me, sometimes down to gear, sometimes down to "u needz to be unemployd n abul to play til 6 in teh morninz lol", predominately down to "We are looking for players on Class X. You need to specced in Talent Tree Gamma, with this specific breakdown of AA-BB-CC." Not something that floats my boat really, even if I was in that field.

I play for fun, but finding the fun is getting harder these days. You have the casuals, playing 1 hour a night, levelling as they please and enjoying the game. You have the hardcores, playing 100 hours a week and slicing through the Sunwell Plateau like the proverbial hot knives through proverbial butter. You also have Casually Hardcore - those who know the game well, devote a good bit of time to it, but still aren't pro. I'm probably in there, but it's a wide spectrum, and finding somewhere to fit in is tough in the game really.

As a result of this lonely journey of mine, I'm essentially sticking to the Player-versus-Player content, farming the Battlegrounds for the kills of mages with their Ice Lances, rogues with their Shadowsteps, then warriors with their Mortal Strikes. No wait, hang on a sec, those guys farm me. Of course, that got repetitive after a while, so I did take a break for a few months to play stuff like Portal, Rome: Total War and Unreal Tournament.

I think that break did allow me to come back, take a fresh look at things and start over, but now I feel that renewed enthusiasm is draining out. With the revision of the PvP gameplay, to upgrade the level of gear attainable through the rewards system, that part has started over again. The guild I'm in as well, about 2 months ago, had a small wave of quits from a core group of those doing the 25-man large-scale content, which has set us back. I'm certainly not getting out of it as much as I did initially. And yet I still play the game and pay my £50 to Blizzard every half-year. It's interesting how it can draw you back to this expansive never-changing (they still haven't fixed that bridge in Redridge 3 years after I found the bloke's spanner) gameworld and how you accept and grin-and-bear some of the tough elements of gameplay to get your [Epic] gear in the end. Like I said, double-edged sword.

And if you're wondering, the URL section murlocking is in fact inspired by these fellows. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether I chose it as MurlocKing, or one form of the verb "to murloc", which I propose as a new term meaning, "to engage in a replication of that guttural murloc mating call cry".

Wow, third (second if you count a proper wall-of-text) interblogoblagnet post, I might be getting somewhere with this project.

25 May 2008

Eurovision 2008

Eurovision week for 2008 has now been and gone, with a grand total of 43 nations from across Europe (and a bit of Asia really) taking part. As usual, the contest has been overwhelmed by:
- Block Voting
- Really awful Eurotrash acts alongside credible and effective entries
- Very annoying presenters being shoved on stage by the host nation, as well as fashion sense-deficient announcers of the various televote results.
- Senseless acts getting the top spots while interesting, more Western European ones are shunned into the gutter.
- One very boring interval act
- Sir Terry Wogan's excellent commentary, keeping us Brits sane throughout.

Here's a rundown of the scorecard for your perusal:

Nation Points Position
Russia 272 1
Ukraine 230 2
Greece 218 3
Armenia 199 4
Norway 182 5
Serbia 160 6
Turkey 138 7
Azerbaijan 132 8
Israel 124 9
Bosnia & Herzegovina 110 10
Georgia 83 11
Latvia 83 12
Portugal 69 13
Iceland 64 14
Denmark 60 15
Spain 55 16
Albania 55 17
Sweden 47 18
France 47 19
Romania 45 20
Croatia 44 21
Finland 35 22
Germany 14 23
Poland 14 24
United Kingdom 14 25

UK's entry with Andy Abraham's "Even If" had its merits. I did find it a quite nice and catchy disco song, supplemented by a good backing group. I knew it wasn't great and I knew we weren't likely winners, but I still saw it as a credible entry. For it to come joint last alongside our friends in Germany and Poland was a bit depressing really. Very annoying that alphabetical ordering makes us the last placed finalist. As Mr. Wogan said in his commentary: "Thank God for Ireland!" (on their donation of 8pts). On the other hand, it appears our friendship with Malta was short-lived, following a jump from 12pts for Scooch to 0pts for Andy, which is a shame really. For those who are interested, the small principality and debut nation of San Marino gave us the other 6. Irish readers out there: I would have voted for your turkey, but UK couldn't vote for SemiFinal 1, sorry.

Prior to tonight's finale I had been watching the semi's to gauge the competition this year, and I did pick out a few favourites along the way. Finland, with their heavy metal rockers Terasbetoni (which literally translates to steel-reinforced concrete, and that on its own is worth Douze Points!), I thought would do well and possibly emulate Lordi's success of 2006. However, perhaps Europe wasn't interested in another group of Viking rockers unless they came dressed as zombies, vampires and hellcows (no offence to Lordi, but that's probably how Europe saw them in '06 and therefore gave them the comedy vote). Ye Scurvy Pirates of Latvia with their sea-shanty 'Wolves of the Sea' was the second entry I was keen to see do well, yarrr, but I suppose finishing midfield isn't bad at all. Sweden and Germany had disappointing results; I'd certainly enjoyed Hero by Charlotte Perelli (former 1999 winner for Sweden) and Disappear by No Angels (German 4-piece Spice Girls group) and put a quick vote down for them both. Sadly, neither of the last 2 finished in Britain's nationwide top ten. Those two acts certainly had unique flair. The Swedish LAZERS (pewpew!) and 5-piece synchronised psycho dance routine won me over, as did the very fit Germans in flowing dresses and wind machines.

Of the ones that succeeded:
- Russia was an interesting act: solo singer, violinist jamming away on a podium [As a side-note, he either has a very good memory of the notes for that entire piece, or he was miming along to backing track], then revealing said podium to in fact be a compact ice rink, approx. 3m diameter. And it would have been so hilarious had that figure skater crashed and burned during his pirouettes :D
Russia's victory had been somewhat predicted by Wogan, especially considering the various Slavic states we have in ESC nowadays. I think it's a case of "Hey, Putin/Medvedev, we'll give you 12pts and the contest for '09, but just don't nuke us and/or cut off our gas/oil supplylines!"
- Ukraine: a very good diva dance song, I won't knock it. Good healthy eastern bloc voting for it.
- Greece: Aqua's Barbie Girl from the 90's revamped for Eurovision. It got the 12pts from Cyprus, naturally.
- Armenia: I think this was another diva entry, not sure. Wasn't memorable that's for sure.
- Norway: Final act of the night that did surprisingly well.
- Serbia: The host nation's act wasn't very impressive, and the chorus reminded me of the Numa Numa string in 'Dragostea din tei'. The voting for the Serbs confused me. All those Balkan states - Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia - fought tooth and nail to escape the decaying Yugoslavia superstate and Serbian oppression at the turn of the 1990's. Many of the people there still detest Serbia, and they go ahead and give 12 for a very unmemorable performance from a nation whose guts they apparently hate.
I think it's about we have ourselves another war in the Balkans. We really need to clear out the trash down there.
- Turkey started off with a huge amount of votes at the start, especially from UK, certainly mirroring last years' contest, where we gave them 12, apparently because we were told "one of the backing dancers is a Brit". They had a decent Busted/McFly pop guitarist number, with their frontman sporting some very crazy heavy eyebrows.
- Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan, if they can do it, everyone can! Oh dear this one was awful! A very visual display of Angel v Devil while singing something completely unrelated. For a debut entry they did well; I just didn't see its merits. Azerbaijan and Turkey have established a new 12pt exchange group in ESC, to go with Greece and Cyprus (and others), mainly the result of a red strip of their flag and the Crescent/Star emblem.

And the rest:
- Israel: poor
- B&H: made no sense
- Georgia: slightly religiously controversial with the finale showing the act members displaying Stars of David, Crucifixes, Crescents, implying that Peace Will Come between all (which it won't, not for a long time)
- Portugal: "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings", and sing the fat lady did.
- Iceland: Eurotrash, very, very Eurotrash. Also, think Little Britain's Davyf Thomas if he lost weight, was a little bit more 'camp' rather than 'out & sophisticated'.
- Denmark: reminded me of Roger Cicero's swing ballad from Germany last year
- Spain: My God was that one awful. A made-up four part dance routine, with obscure names for four already-determined dance moves, which are not shown when he actually says "Now dance it!" Also, that My Little Pony-esque mini-electric guitar round his neck was pathetic.
- France: I kinda liked this one. A Gallic bearded bloke in a suit, turning up on stage in a golf cart singing in English, very absurd, very surreal. Oh, and the (most likely female) backing singers all had the same overwhelming beard and big sunglasses. The promotional video was more impressive though, with the artist flinging the microphone to himself over (I counted) 60 individual camera shots, and a bit more of a 'divine' appearance in a white suit.

So it's going to be Moscow for Eurovision 2009. This makes it slightly more fair on the Vladivostokians tuning in to the contest, but possibly means pushing it make to 5/6pm slot in Western Europe. Oh well...

Wogan seems to feel strongly that the BBC and UK, as well as a few others from the West, should pull out for good, or branch off for our own contest that's not swamped by 20 nations in the East with the population of 1 nation of the West, but with 20x the voting power. It would certainly impact the funding of the event were the UK, Spain, France and/or Germany to up stakes and move out, but I suppose that's something that may be needed to be done to prove a point. No reason why we shouldn't follow Austria/Italy really.

It has been said that UK's popularity has gone down in Europe since Iraq and 2003, and we therefore haven't performed so well of late. However, we also put forward during this time:
- a double act whose song had epoch fail written all over it before their sound system went dead on stage
- a Mancunian rapper and 5/6 20-year old singers dressed as schoolgirls complaining that there is a thing known as education for teenagers, and that teachers care not for who they're sleeping with or what drugs they're taking. Daz Sampson's moronic entry was an advertisement for our failing state school system.
- a very Butlin's level of camp, overly patriotic song by a long-expired bubblegum pop group

Maybe Balkan/Baltic/Eastern bloc states don't vote for us on the principle that our government misled us into a prolonged conflict in the Gulf, but it's also down to the fact that what Britain produces as an entry, isn't their kind of music. This is compounded by the fact that no serious artist enters, in an attempt to maintain their career's status, because they know the general public don't support their license fee money going towards the annual circus that is Eurovision, because they know the acts put forward as the people's choice, have no hope in hell anymore. And the vicious circle continues. As well as this, some of the 'decent' entries we put forward between '98 (when we hosted and Israel won) and '03 were also disregarded by Europe (though I think we had one/two entries coming in the top 10 with a good 100+pts)

Whew, I think I covered everything. I hope people read and place their views, as this was more than a good hour's worth of my Saturday night/Sunday morning.

So, until the next time my spleen needs venting,
Auf Wiedersehen... Genossen!

1 Feb 2008

Well, let's get things rolling then!

Good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome to episode 1 of my interblag posting saga. Enjoy your stay, but don't eat too much of the cake.

~Insert writer's block here~

I guess I got round to this after noticing I have years worth of frustrations and spleens that need venting, so this, albeit possibly slightly generic, blog is the result.

Stuff that might get a regular mention:
- News articles, usually from delving through BBC News or other online media
- Thoughts for the Day/Week/Month/
- Rants, possibly derived from listening to crackpots on the morning radio or reading about crackpots in the morning paper [read: British urban newspaper The Metro that gets distributed for free on public transport]
- Gaming, with a range of topics from developments in World of Warcraft or any others in my collection, to other related news items in general
- Nerd/Geek stuff
- Charvs, and how much I despise them

Anyhoo, I can't really think of much else to say, so I'm gonna leave it there.