The One Where I Go On About Food.

I’ve been on a bit of healthy turn recently, not since January the first, as you might expect, but halfway through that miserable mess of a month. I started the year continuing the festive bad habits of drinking and overeating, mainly due to free time and having my cousin down for the first few weeks. Still, no regrets, much fun was had.

But the Christmas debts suddenly caught me up and my lavish lifestyle was no longer an option. I decided that a budget was in order, out with the junk and in with the fruit. It’s being going really well, too. Dusted off the old veggie steamer and I’m cooking up a treat and walking every day.

Clicky for Reddit recipe

My culinary skills are reasonably solid – I can make a mean pasta dish, a tasty stir fry, an impressive meat and two veg (easy,) but I kind of hit the wall when it comes to flavouring besides the natural juices, store bough sauces, and drowning dishes in Bisto. I need a list of practical spices, herbs, and condiments that I can use on many dishes. I also really want  this cheap rice cooker as I love the stuff but I don’t make it much as I’m pretty rubbish at it. What I like about the steamer is I can throw the veg in and use the timer to plan the cooking of the rest of the meal, so the rice cooker should do the same.

I headed over to r/budgetfood to read up on recipes and advice, specifically rice dishes. It’s a great little sub with what seems like a reasonably active community. It was here where I read about rice cookers and where I’m going to ask many a question myself. I can’t wait until Thursday when I can afford some niceties and throw together some tasty meals. Go have a browse yourself or tell me your recipes, and especially check out this little Google Doc of frugal recipes, some good stuff tucked up in here.



The other half has gotten me into lomography cameras by giving me a gorgeous Fisheye 2. My only knowledge of fisheye comes from it’s use in skateboarding videos and photos, which I used to watch and look at rather a lot for someone with absolutely no talent on a board. I shot my first film while wandering the streets of the Shire on a lovely cold winters day. Out of 24 photos I managed to get 9 decent ones, so not bad for my first film. You can look at them all here if you’re interested.

Already started my second film and I’m experimenting more with different lighting and use of flash, among other things. Won’t have it processed until next month, though. Got a lovely old american camera that I’m playing with alongside my fisheye, called Keystone Everflash 3570. Catchy! It has an almighty, retina-destroying flash on it, so I’ll be keeping it away from faces. I may do a little review of it after I get the film processed, although I’ve no idea how to review a camera. More of an opinion piece.

Anyone have any experience with these cameras or a passion for analogue?


Life this year has been stop start at best. I’ve drifted away from friends in real life, on the internet, and writing; losing contacts and losing work. The reasons for that I don’t want to divulge on the Internet as you never know who’s reading. Things as of today are no better on paper but I feel like things are slowly coming together.

This is mainly because of one person that I recently spoke to who told me that I have to get my identity back, and that identity is linked to writing, and getting out there in the big wide web again. I have to go against my natural instinct and pull my head out the sand and stop hiding from everything that I’m not happy with. And that’s hard. It comes down to motivation and drive, both are lacking, but both are being forced back into my mind.

So, me, be aggressive, be productive, be yourself. Expect more.


Football games have always been a big part of my life, as I’m sure I’ve said before on many a blog post and game review. What I loved about the old games was the fun you could have with a friend. You could play all sorts of teams, try out different formations and players. On PES you could build your Master League in your own time and then face off against your friends. And what I just remembered yesterday, you could edit and play around with the World XI teams (One of the old PES games let you choose your team before every game, which was fantastic fun) again creating Barcelona like teams that make every other team pale in comparison.

Now let’s fast forward to yesterday where Scott and I were playing our ritualistic three games of FIFA. Only three games because one of us always gets annoyed with the game. He goes Classic XI and I go Current World XI. His team boasts greats like Pelé, Cantona, Maradona… no wait, there’s no Maradona (I think this is due to image rights). But that’s nothing when compared to my team, I have Lampard and Berbatov, for crying out loud. Both great players but why are they first team players and not the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Forlan, Torres(ignoring his current form), Robben , Pato amongst many others. Even worse is the fact that there is only five reserve players and two of them had stats in the mid seventies. I would go back and check but apparently the squad changes on every load and I have no idea why. No problem, right? Let’s just change it up and add our own players. Only no, you can’t even edit the team.

This lack of control is my main problem with FIFA 11. It occurs throughout the entire game, small picky details that niggle and frustrate and over time can lead to ruining your experience with the game. Formation screens are the worst, favouring their traditional clunky, slow and just ugly design. I could put up with this but it’s the editing of the player positions that are just horrible. Play a central midfielder who excels in real life in a holding role in FIFA and their stats will drop. Flick to the formation edit screen and you can nudge him two fucking millimetres forward and suddenly he’s good again. Only you can’t just use that formation, you have to save it, which you cannot name, it just sits there among all the other minor adjustments that you’ve done.

The actual football is good, we all know that, apart from one thing, something that Scott and I call “The Jip”. The Jip rears its ugly head when the game decides that you need to be playing worse, to make the game more tense or something. Suddenly your passes will start going astray. Your players will not connect to through balls, running the wrong way or stopping without any reason. Your opponent will be able to tackle you with ease, stripping you of the ball with little to no effort. I know this sounds like the ravings of a sore loser but we’ve played a lot of FIFA and this has been getting worse through the last three instalments.

The Jip usually signifies the end of our fun and so we often switch to arsing around and tackling each other off the ball, shooting from anywhere on the pitch, going mazy runs with the goalkeeper etc. FIFA handles this well, even helping in the fun thanks to its ridiculously calamitous physics engine. Yet it still stops you from doing what you want, like playing your goalkeeper outfield, allowing Gerrard to don the gloves. Editing a formation that plays everyone upfront, only you can’t as you MUST HAVE one defender back.

I’ve put up with it for too long, and what sickens me is I always award them high scores as when they come out as they appear brilliant improvements, only through time the honeymoon ends and outcome the comfort pants and the mortgage payments. So, EA, please make your game more open ended, less linear and confined, and bring back the fun to football.



This week I got to indulge in a forgotten pleasure; I got to watch someone play a game in its entirety. This is something I used to do when I was young, when my elder brother would hog the controller. A few times it was because he played the scary games that I couldn’t. I mean, I could have just picked the pad up, but I’m a big wuss, you see.

I’ve never played Silent Hill or Resident Evil but I have watched them. Now we have went our separate ways I haven’t finished a ‘scary game’ since these. I tried Condemned but I just couldn’t manage it. I was scared even watching Dead Space – funny story about that, will share it another day.

But I got to watch Dead Space 2 being played by my good mate, Damo, as he was staying over for 4 nights. He beasted the game in one massive sitting and I was his old fashioned wingman Calling out the location of those nasty little bastarding Necromorphs, helping him in the frustrating puzzles, and trying to scare him in tense sections by creeping back into the living room and jumping in him. Didn’t work.

So when the next game comes out I’m either going to kidnap someone or rent myself out as a gaming wingman. What do you think?

27: Goodbye, Jess.

I’ve failed again, haven’t I? Didn’t even make it out of January. Nice one, Steve.

But I am continuing. I’m going to do 2 posts a day for 4 days to hit my number again then I’m not going to miss a day. I fucking promise. Even if the post is a picture of a dog getting hit in the nuts by a tennis ball, i will post something. I will even throw a tennis ball at my cat and she doesn’t even have nuts.

I will pursue interesting things so I can write about them, I will write earlier when I actually have the ideas instead of leaving it until 2am. I can make this stronger, faster… better.

Better than January anyway. What a shit month! I’m not going to moan about it again but I want to mention my family dog, Jess, who passed away yesterday. She was diagnosed with cancer last year and has been happy enough until this week where her health rapidly dropped. I was ready for it but it still knocked me for six. Keep remembering old memories of her, like the first day we got her and she did a massive poop on the neighbours pathway. Or the time she clean knocked me over in the snow, must have went about 3 feet in the air.

You were a great dog. My dog. Miss you, pup.