25 Mar 2015

"I'm the dreaming man
I can make it real, oh, yes I can
I like to dream
I am the dreaming man
I can make it real, oh, yes I can"
Once again I find myself engrossed in a Rockstar game, I've played every one except for Bully. This time it's GTA 5, yes I know it came out two years ago.  The trouble is with me being a cheap ass/skint kind of guy I waited until it came down in price.  I finally bought it about 4 weeks ago and so far have apparently clocked up nearly 85 hours of gameplay and spent nearly $1 Million on one characters' car mods alone.
I now have the overwhelming desire to bugger of to California, although I would like to reassure the U.S authorities that I promise not to jack cars, kill 357 cops with one character and get away with it by hiding in the hills.  I must be realistic though,  California would be nice but it would be just as bad as here only sunnier. I doubt America wants another minimum wage pool boy or pizza delivery guy.  Just think of the ridiculous look of Kevin Spacey in American Beauty wearing his fast food uniform and that would be me, failed in life can't be arsed anymore. Although I never understood why no one mentions the $50,000 severance pay he got, surely this eased the unemployment a bit?  I'd like a little of that easing right now to be honest... anyway I digress. (which, as we all know, is a female Digre)
It really is one of the best games ever made to be frank, OK there are the odd niggles like the phone bug which Rockstar seems to ignore despite calls (no pun intended) to fix the problem and the fact that someone will call the cops if you stand too close to them in game, the moon gravity when in vehicles or the fact that the NPC drivers will drive straight into you at any given moment. But the game itself is well crafted and scripted.  The motion capture is some of the best I've ever seen in any game.  There have been several laugh out loud moments for me whether it was on the in game radio stations or the actors lines, which in a game is something I can't remember happening before.  
I must say though that the animals in the game are easier to kill, as anyone who read my post regarding my previous Rockstar game addiction Red Dead Redemption will remember, I suffered sudden death syndrome once or twice from a previously unseen bear/cougar/wolf hiding behind a tree. Although I have yet to accidentally shoot my car in the back of the head like I did with several horses.
The map of Los Santos itself is immense and I haven't even discovered everything yet, despite the usual strategy I employ with open world games which is explore as soon as possible then carry on with the story.  I broke my usual gaming rules and bought the Brady game guide for the simple fact that there was so much in game to be found, I don't use it for the actual missions though just the side missions and collectables, also I have the open credits theme as a ringtone, addicted? Me?
Los Santos and San Andreas Island themselves look fantastic even on my old PS3 the attention to every minute detail is second to none, I don't know how long the game is going to be sat in my console but I doubt it will be taken out soon.

4 Mar 2015

"Well that's not the way
No sense or reason in your fussing and fighting
And your violent obsession
Who's ever really left feeling fine
After the great depression?
No sense of purpose in the competition
Keeping up with the Joneses
You buy a house,
You buy a car
You buy a marriage and a bed of roses

It's sad when people you don't know personally but respect and fill a large space of your life for years pass on, John Peel, Ian Dury and lately Leonard Nimoy for example.  I've never tired of his Mr.Spock character even though I've seen the films and series many times over for what seems like 100 years of my life. With each one we gain a little something that we carry on into our lives and hopefully pass on to others.
With Ian Dury it was the realisation that poetry wasn't all poncey about flowers and hills or the 'funny' double entendre strewn monologues that Benny Hill used to close the show with.  It could be all about the everyday ordinary things. A man walking the dog in the park and his hidden perversions, a shoplifting incident as a child, his relationship with his father etc. 
As for John Peel I took the love of new music and a very diverse collection if my ,now full, iPod is to be believed.  
From Leonard Nimoy I took something else entirely.  I've seen in recent years every kind of scientist doing interviews or YouTube videos on how much they'd taken from his character's love of science and his ability to analyse, although I do realise that 'love' is a human emotion.  Maybe if I had had better science teachers or a better home life then maybe I would have been up there doing experiments and selfies in the International space station in the name of science.
But because I had the kind of teacher that made something up to get me out of his class even though every single other kid in said class queued up to tell the Headmaster I hadn't done it. And because I had the kind of parents that when I expressed an interest in working for NASA or E.S.A they laughed and told me I was too stupid and would kill everybody, my path diverged.  Incidentally this was their argument when I asked if I could get a job with the local mechanic as a trainee grease monkey, and yet they didn't bat an eyelid when I joined the Army.
So with this in mind as a basis for my early life you can see why I would take the cold emotional, logical state of mind from Mr. Spock.  The idea formed in my 13 year old brain that if I hid my emotions and thought about things logically I would not be able to be hurt.  Although I think that my emotionless fa├žade and logic have led to not really living.  I can think of several  times in my life where I've talked myself out of asking someone out on a date because I could see that there was someone else better for them.  Or not get off with them at the Christmas party because it would complicate things and possibly I would lose them as a friend as well, which would be even worse.  
On the plus side I have always had the ability to see both sides of an argument and am always a pretty good problem solver.  Only recently have I rekindled my interest in science via astronomy but by now I can't muster up the enthusiasm for the minutiae of it all, preferring just to be an observer/photographer.  This I put down to middle age apathy rather than lack of ability.
Sometimes I wish that I could dispose of this semi Vulcan wall I put around myself but then I find I've been betrayed or hurt in some way and up it goes again.
Maybe I just need a bit of the old 'Pon Farr'? ;)

R.I.P Mr Leonard Nimoy
"You always were and ever shall be, our friend."

"I've always got a magic line
That I tap into any time
I watch the world by day and night
It's very close, but out of sight."

You know, being unemployed is a pain in the arse to be blunt. But I'm still hopeful of employment.  Otherwise I'd be under the Bournemouth pier bottle in hand like all the shoplifting scumbag losers.  Although, this will never happen for several reasons.  Chief of which is that I'm prepared to go without all the luxuries.  For a start it's been a year or so since I had a pizza delivered or stuffed a Chinese take away in my eager face.  I may have mentioned previously that I had to sell all my goodies to pay my way thanks to some faceless moron in the DWP (Nazi Div.) making a vagarious decision.  Still, water under the bridge ... I suppose!?! 
I apply to positions of all types and contracts. Part time, full time, permanent, temporary you name it.  I still get the impression that they don't wholeheartedly believe me when I sign on each week that I've actively been searching.  They themselves are no help anymore, when I was unemployed previously there were always courses to go on to bolster up the old skill set.  I asked recently if there were any I could be eligible for and was told there were no courses at all.
The thing is that I find it hard to be judged by people who have been in the job since I first came to town to live permanently in 1990. They haven't got the experience to enable empathy.  Back then it was easy to find a job I could just walk into unqualified and do it.  But now, as I'm sure I've ranted about before, you need two certificates to be a dishwasher.  I remember when I was in the Army walking around London spending money like it was out of style, as ever, and getting a job for two days as a labourer basically given to me as I walked past a building site.  All I needed was myself a pair of trainers and a willingness to earn over two days.  I got £120 and bought new shoes before returning to barracks, so as to not have to explain the concrete all over my feet at the guard house and that was that.  Now I have to buy all my own safety boots, hard hat, get two certificates and a hi viz jacket just to be a temporary 'Stop/Go' board operator. If that were to be my chosen career then I may well do so.  But it's not so I'm not.  Not that I have the money anyway, whatever comes in goes straight out.  Now, on top of everything else, I have to try and save up to clear my over draft by August, which probably won't happen no matter how much I will it to. 
But like I say I'm hopeful of the future.  My former manager used to tell me I wasn't positive, well I always disagreed.  I wonder how positive she feels when they no longer do pay raises or bonuses and are 65% down in profits? Now how do you spell Schadenfreude again?