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Topics - TordelBack

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
1
Games / Best PS4 games for sprogs?
« on: 02 January, 2018, 12:15:14 am »
So the eldest (11) is looking to spend some Crimbo tokens on a PS4 game.  Right now all we have is SW:BF2 and Lego Dimensions (more than enough for me for now, but I'm probably going to spring for Rogue Trooper soon).

Preferred elements for the Boy are Stealth, Exploration, RPG, FPS, Conquest; criteria for his censorious parent are Not Too Realistically Gory, No Sexual Violence/Prostitution, No Dodgy Adult Relationship Bollocks, No Modern Warfare/Serious Crime, Decent Amount of Solo Play.

I'm basically Victorian Dad now, how did it come to this.

I had been pondering Assassins Creed Origins, but it looks to be completely out by Criteria Set No. 2, so bah! to that.  No Man's Sky appeals too, as does Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Thoughts?   


2
Help! / Approaches to That London
« on: 24 April, 2017, 02:45:56 pm »
So I'm over in England for a week's sailing in September, have to hire a car and pick up a mate at Stansted on a Monday morning. It occurred to me that I could go over myself a day early and spend the Sunday in the fleshpots and vice dens of That London (oh alright, morning in the British Museum, afternoon in Natural History Museum with Gosh! in between, as usual). 

So I'm looking for some advice: I can pick up the car in Stansted on Sunday for basically the same price as picking it up on the Monday, as well as get all that hullaballoo sorted in advance so we can hit the road bright and early.   BUT... what do I do then?

Can anyone suggest (1). a best plan for getting into London with car starting at Stansted on a Sunday morning, in the mode of park-and-ride; (2). somewhere cheap as feck to sleep that's easy to get back to from London and handy for an 8am Monday Morning pickup back at Stansted. 

I appreciate that the simple answer is 'don't get the car until Monday morning and just get the airport express in', but I fancy a bit of flexibility in finding somewhere outside of London to overnight, and avoiding the stress of picking up a car in the morning.

 

3
Film & TV / Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« on: 23 January, 2017, 04:29:12 pm »
And so we have a an official title.  It's another very safe broad-recognition choice from Disney, not for them Menaces or Clones, and it seems a bit unfortunate to use 'Jedi' a second time, forcing even non-nerds to use annoying acronyms in future discussions.  I certainly don't hate it, but hopefully this lack of imagination doesn't extend to the film itself. 

Anyone going to give me odds on Episode 9 simply being 'The Dark Side'?

4
News / Warlord Stront game!
« on: 14 December, 2016, 03:50:45 pm »
From the main site: https://www.2000adonline.com/post/1183.

Warlord do some lovely professional minis stuff.  I've been playing with their Napoleonic Black Powder rules this year and they are user-friendly and very relaxed.  Excited to see how this turns out. 

5
Off Topic / I see robots. I see big robots.
« on: 25 November, 2016, 02:15:48 pm »
So the One Big Thing on the Christmas agenda for Tordeltowers is robots, or more precisely, robotics kits.  Any of you brainy types know anything about starter robotics kits for a 10 year old?

Of relevance, the Boy has done basic Arduino IDE programming (a very cut-down form of C+) and simple circuit wiring, some more advanced Scratch games stuff (plus the usual HTML, CSS and a whiff of Java, but no Python yet).  Current Coderdojo project is programming Christmas light sequences with punch cards!

Because this is Educational and It Will Help With His Homework (and he's stuck enthusiastically at Coderdojo for a year now, and thus this is not a mere whim) I understand that Santa is prepared to push the sleigh out on this one way, way further than usual.

The kits I'm favouring currently are the Makeblock Starter Robot and the robot-arm add-on for same, versus their Ultimate 10-in-1 Robot kit, which with free shipping and Black Friday discounts works out about €50 more, but seems a lot more complicated.

Against this is Lego Mindstorms EV3, which Tordelback himself has craved like techno-heroin since first he clapped eyes on its earliest iterations, but which he knows the the Boy isn't so keen on, having developed an irrational belief that Lego is just a bit babyish (oh the folly of self-conscious youth!), and that Real Robots such as you might wish to be seen in public with involve metal and bolts and such. 

For myself, I know that having access to a mound of existing Lego harvested from 3 generations of this family will make a big difference to future expansion, and Starwarsification of projects.  It is however another €50 more expensive again (at least), may lead to initial disappointment, and lacks the native Scratch and Arduino Bluetooth interfaces offered by MakeBlock in favour of some in-house tablet-based drag-and-drop, and an option for some C on a computer.

Thoughts, oh cybernetic-hivemind?

6
Thanks to a lucky glance at the 'in' pile of my favourite secondhand book shop and a wee bit of negotiating, I managed to get all three Books of Invasion volumes for €20.  I've been looking for these at a decent price since I finished Lord of Beasts, and had almost resigned myself to wait for a distant omnibus reprint, but joy!  I haven't read these stories since they first ran (or the Christmas re-read of their respective years at least), and I had mixed memories of them: a salmon-leap in quality from the dismal The Secret Commonwealth, versus still-lingering distaste with the fridging of Niamh, and its manner.

I'm still working my way through them (there's a lot of pages!), and so far my feelings remaining mixed, but I thought I might jot down my reactions here as I go rather than try and fail to do it all at once.

By way of preamble, I am of course a massive fan of Sláine, it was the 2000AD strip of my teens and probably still is, and of Pat Mills, who along with counterpoint and sometime counterpart Wagner, essentially is 2000AD for me: a powerhouse of characters, ideas, imagery, factoid-of-the-week, bad puns and bald-faced socio-political tubthumping. 

However, both Sláine and Mills drive me up the flipping wall at times, for reasons that will be exposed in excruciating detail as we go on.

Anyway, first impressions (Take 2):

These books look magnificent.  Cover to cover, these are lavish, intricate, vibrant, dense, intriguing volumes.  I'm sure it's intentional, but the resemblance to a computer-age quasi-fumetti Book of Kells really is striking, for all that Langley largely eschews the kind of obvious homage to scrollwork and page layout that other artists have attempted.  Instead, it's the insane, almost irrational level of detail, of every corner of every frame being packed with ever-smaller elements, of the reader being unable to look at a single page without wondering just how ridiculously long it took to produce.  Even the cover galleries at the back form a series of gorgeous, luscious character portraits. 

And then, just to spoil the whole marvelous hypnotic effect, suddenly there's Clint's Lemmy-lookalike mate gurning out at me, or an action scene where any attempt to convey movement has been handed over to a bad PS blur effect.  Why Clint, whyyyy?

A question I'll be asking a lot.

Next:  Book I: Moloch.



7
Film & TV / IZombie
« on: 25 January, 2016, 10:45:22 pm »
Anyone watching this? Two episodes in and I think it's actually rather fun in an Angel sort of way. High concept exposition is remarkably, almost shockingly, brisk, dialogue is occasionally sharp and Rose McIver and Malcolm Goodwin are a good pairing as 'Cagney and Pasty'. I could handle a little less introspective musing VO, but there's still a lot to like, not least Mike Allred's credit sequence.

I read the comic for a while and mildly enjoyed that too, and there seems to be quite a bit of divergence (although I like 'Gewn's punnish new moniker: Liv Moore). That said, elements are introduced so rapidly that it may get round to the wider supernatural tone later.

8
Website and Forum / Chaaaange, horrible chaaaaange...
« on: 19 October, 2015, 03:04:48 pm »
...only I can't work out if anything has actually changed.

9
Off Topic / Sprogs on YouTube
« on: 30 July, 2015, 06:47:00 pm »
Bit of advice sought from other caregiver units here.

My eldest lad is 9, and seems to be under continual pressure from his mates to film/appear in YouTube videos. 'Everyone does it', we are told - and indeed several of his friends have unrestricted smartphones. I've put a blanket ban on it (seeing as you can't even have an account until 13, and that's with parental permission).  The boy is playing ball (for now), but he's always loved the Star Wars Lego homemade animations and various Minecraft channels, and I'm starting to feel I'm making him into an outsider. I've tried redirecting his energies into making animations and games in Scratch, but the urge to film his mates falling off skateboards is stronger.

 I just see permanent records of childish stupidity and an open door into the depressive horrors of seeking validation from the cesspit of YouTube commenters and their foul hateful utterances. I know I can't shield him from the internet forever, but he's only 9, FFS!

Am I being a total Conservative Dad spoilsport from a bygone age? What have other parental units here done?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

10
Off Topic / Pokemon, ochón ochón.
« on: 17 October, 2014, 08:41:25 pm »
Well, it finally arrived, that day every father dreads.  My son has started hanging around with those kids - you know the ones, furtive, pallid, odd rectangular shapes concealed in their trackie pockets.  I mean, the soft version is one thing, the odd lost weekend spent alone in his bedroom, one ball after another, always wanting more.  But now the virtual isn't enough: he wants the hard gear.  And that means money.

So, does anyone here know about Pokemon cards?  He picked up a themed Pangoro (fight/dark) deck going cheap in the toy shop, and we've split that deck 30/30 for a few learning games, but obviously that doesn't really work when we're both playing half a theme.  So tomorrow, weather permitting, we're going looking for enough cards to have a real game.  What should we go for, assuming we want to play each other at home out of the one pool, and then he wants to play his mates at school?  Are there any particular starter sets, should we buy another themed deck, or just a handful of random boosters?  Are there any incompatibilities?

And one last question: why me?


11
Help! / Tha's the matter wi' Glesga, some bampot's blown in doon...
« on: 05 October, 2014, 05:26:37 pm »
As I know far more of you than is reasonable are afflicted with some form of Scottishness, and some of those with the Glasgow variant of the condition, I have a request to make of your local -cough- wisdom.  I have a good friend who has just landed a multi-year contract in Glasgow, and is looking for somewhere to lay his head for a few months while he finds his bearings. So far he's finding online and employer resources... uncooperative.  Ideally a house-share with non-students, fairly accessible/transport linked to the Gilmourhill campus of the U of G, and equally ideally somewhere he isn't going to get beaten up too often for being Irish (I added that last bit).

In the unlikely event that anyone knows of such a paradise, that's great please let me know, but more practically does anyone have any advice about likely areas, local accommodation resources etc.?  As I say, this is for a good mate who has been a long time looking for a decent job, so I'm trying to assist as best I can.  Many thanks!

12
Off Topic / Best tiff ever
« on: 08 May, 2014, 07:48:23 am »
Lactose-based iPod repairs, or The Days of Thin Ice, you decide.

13
Off Topic / CBR Forums Purge
« on: 01 May, 2014, 01:00:35 pm »
CBR earning a great deal of respect from me both for this move, and for the tone of the apology:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=52513

Good job everyone here is a fine upstanding citizen, eh?

14
The estimable Padraig O Mealoid brings us these words of wisdom and art from the only facial-hair wearer that rivals Chris Hadfield in my unnatural affections:  http://slovobooks.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/last-alan-moore-interview/

I'll stand by my man this time. 

Quote
If I had gone on to say, as I have on other occasions, that modern superheroes seem to mainly function as cowardice compensators for a number of their conflict-averse creators and readers, or that the origin of capes and masks as ubiquitous superhero accessories can be deduced from a close viewing of D.W. Griffiths’ Birth of a Nation, then I hate to think what I might have been accused of.

(Not representative of the theme of the piece, just one more example of crystalised wit and precision prose).

Moore should be cloned, biochipped, frozen or transcribed into a Tron-like state so that his towering articulate brilliance is available to smack down future eras.

15
Off Topic / Christmas salutations
« on: 25 December, 2013, 12:04:30 am »
A Mighty Thargmas to you all!  Hope boarders and their families have the best day possible, and many thanks to all for your pseudo-company over the past year: it's been helpful and enjoyable  Now if I can only get this last bit of sanding and painting done and get some sleep before the Oh Jovus O'Clock wakeup stampede...

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