December, 2006:


I was woken up at 6.30 am with Kathryn shouting her obligatory mantra of “He’s been! He’s been”. For the uninitiated “He” is Father Christmas.

We found ourselves witnessing Al opening his presents in a new record time for him. However the twins were slightly more sedate about it all but nevertheless seemed fascinated by the entire process. Shame Elmo wasn’t firing on all cylinders due to battery wear (Kathryn denies all responsibility). Al’s Robosapien was slightly let down by the absence of a million batteries that seemed to be required but sadly not included.

Anyway, Christmas is about more important things. Namely – my presents. I made out like a bandit and managed a good selection. A selection is listed below

  • Nintendo Wii – I may have mentioned already I was getting one
  • Wii Play
  • Wii John Madden 07
  • Wii Zelda
  • Two books
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Day 4×4 driving, quad biking and clay pigeon shooting
  • Tefal space saver pans
  • About enough chocolate to feed a small country
  • Lots and lots of other things and possibly some major presents that have completely slipped my mind. I have been up 18 hours at this point following 5 hours sleep.

Film Quiz Part Deux

Following on from the M&M’s one may I present

Its almost Christmas!

The twins and Aled are really looking forward, not to mention Dave!

Last week was Aled’s birthday, we bought him a ‘real light sabre’. he was absolutely landed (albeit a little worried that he might hurt someone). Dave and I went to Aled’s Christmas concert, he did really well, as did other members of his school concert. It was all going really well, until Al winked at us half way through and made us laugh for the rest of the concert!! The play really got us in the mood for Christmas and we really enjoyed.

Its only just over a week now, and we are all ready to go. As seen in previous posts, Dave has his Wii, so is all set!

Its been a really eventful month – Aled’s birthday, my Gran’s 80th birthday, Dave’s dad and brothers birthdays and Christmas. Hope everyone is enjoying this time of year as much as we are…. we are having a great time!

Wii-lly lucky!

ticket.jpgOk Ok I promise I’ll quit with the “wii-lly” joke. Anyway, I discovered that my local ASDA were getting 10 Wii’s in this morning and they were due to open at 8. Not expecting much I drove by at 7.30 and was lucky enough to be 9th in the queue!

Am now in possession but as Kathryn is buying it as my Christmas pressie I will have to hand it over and wait till the 25th before the box can be opened. Remains to be seen if Woolies will come through with people’s orders but I no longer have to worry.

On a related note I have been appalled to see Wii’s going on ebay for £700+. The people who buy them just to sell on should be stopped. Laws should be passed stopping ebay from allowing it.

Wii-lly annoyed!

Typical. After guaranteeing orders for Wii’s in the first week of release Kathryn has received a message from Woolworths saying that this will now not be met. More so, and more importantly, they can’t even promise pre-Christmas delivery now.

This doesn’t just seem to be a Woolies problem but in fact down to Nintendo delivering many less than the required number of units to stores. Sort it out Nintendo!!

I’m Wii-lly Excited!

wii.jpgFriday is the day that home console gaming changes forever. Friday is the day that the most revolutionary console in recent times is released in the UK. Friday is the day that 1000s of people will be queueing to pick up their pre-orders and others will be left disappointed. Friday is Wii Day!

Nintendo’s new console, the Wii (pronounced Wee), is quite unlike any console available but certainly the kind of machine that only Nintendo could get away with. Unlike the 360 and the PS3 it isn’t all about cramming in as many processor cycles into a box as possible and being graphic focussed. It’s about having fun.

wii-sports-tennis.jpgThe Wii remote, or wii-mote, is a completely new type of controller, seemingly very basic to look at, it has motion sensors hidden within that makes Wii games a lot more interactive than anything seen before. Wii Sports, the game that comes bundled, includes several sports including tennis and basically you hit the ball by swinging the remote like a racquet. You can hit hard, soft, lob, apply spin, anything really by mimicking what you would do with a real life racquet with the remote.

An additional controller, the nunchuk, connects to the wii-mote and gives you a controller in each hand. This is used in a basic level in Wii Sports Boxing with each controller representing a hand of your boxer allowing you to punch with left and right hands. Bringing both remotes up to your face will cause your on screen boxer to guard his face. It really is very intuitive.

twi1.jpgThere are so many games due out for launch that it would be easy to get bogged down among the sheer number. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of poor games likely to make the launch, but some very good ones. Madden ’07 with the wii-mote will bring a whole new dimension to the long running series, Wii Play gives you a free controller and 6 mini games including pool and shooting, and there are numerous others. Perhaps the stand-out game though is Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess which is currently being bought by 80% of Wii owners in Japan and the US. Reviews for this are suggesting an instant classic.

Technically the Wii is not as impressive as it’s peers but then it costs a lot less, isn’t really aimed at the same market and does have a lot of innovative features – notably the built in wireless capability bringing instant multi player gaming. This feature will also allow you access to the Virtual Console, a mode that will allow you to download old games on-line for your console. Classics such as Mario 64, Sonic and a huge number of others are available. These games are likely to cost you between £7 and £3 a go.

I really haven’t done the console justice in a few short paragraphs but I suggest you buy one. You’ll be Wii-lly excited too.

The Death of English Cricket II

ashes_fire.jpgFollowing this mornings horrific capitulation in the Second Test I propose we retrieve the bails and cremate them to signify the death of English cricket. Perhaps we could put them in an urn and call them “the ashes” or something.

It baffles me as to the kind of spirit and mental strength is running through a team that can basically hand over a test match so spectacularly. To go from 69-1 to 129 all out when you’ve managed to score over 550 declared in the first innings is just unacceptable.

Refusal to pick your best spinner and probably wicket keeper on the basis that the replacements might score a couple more runs is a bad idea. And when these two players contribute 36 in 2 innings you really do realise your plan has backfired. Key players missing (Jones, Vaughan, Tresco), key players out of form (Harmison, Strauss) and other players just coming back from injury with no time to find form (Giles, Freddie) – the entire selection has been a cock up from Day One.

Hopefully the third test will see some changes and we’ll at least make a fight of it. Glenn McGrath’s 5-0 prediction isn’t looking quite so stupid this time however.

Money matters

money.jpgCame across a fascinating website that really brings home how poor most of the world is. Global Rich List takes your income and tells you where you stand in the worlds richest. Apparently I’m inside the top 53 million (or to put it another way, the top 0.88%).