Getting in the Halloween Spirit

As it is the 31st October and Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, Witching Hour, e.t.c. I thought I might add a playlist to get you in the frightening mood!

Enjoy

Tonight I will be mostly hiding out in our darkened house not answering the door to trick or treaters as I am a tight Yorkshire Man.

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London Break

London Big BenI treated the wife to a city break in London for two nights over the bank holiday weekend; we came back, this evening (Sunday) not too tired. I just wanted to get out and about for a bit and thought London would be a nice treat. When I used to staying in London, back in the days of working in the city, whilst living in a leafy suburb, I used to stay in a hotel rather than get a train at stupid o’clock every day. The most convenient one was The Jesmond Dene Hotel, near London’s Kings Cross, perfect for transport.

However as I was treating the wife I chose somewhere flashier. Now I would like to say my budgets could stretch to the Dorchester, but that would mean no toys for me, so I went for the York & Albany which is right by Regents Park so you get lovely views. I managed to snag a fantastic last minute deal the other week and a voucher code for money of rail travel so accommodation and travel for to and around London came to £500. Although it was a fancy hotel, it didn’t have too much of a pretentious air to it and the wife loved the glass of prosecco upon arrival, which then led to a bottle and a sozzled wife, by time we ventured out for food.

There were a number of local restaurants nearby, which the hotel kindly booked a dinner reservation for us at one. There are a couple of decent pubs (not fancy bars) nearby so I got a good pint whilst the wife drank more (she was hungover on Saturday and I had zero sympathy). We took in some of the local markets, which are fun; we don’t get many like this up North, well not with the same choice. In the afternoon we decided to enjoy a picnic in Alexandra Park after getting some nibbles and deli delights from the Alexandra Palace Farmers’ Market, with the weather being very pleasant, thank god! In the evening was another great meal out and more beers and cocktails this time for the wife, as ‘they don’t give her as much of a headache as prosecco does’.

Before we headed back today we had time to ride an open top bus tour of London, and have a nice lunch out before getting the train back home. We have been back about an hour or so, just waiting on the takeaway to arrive before we catch up on some TV. It looks like tomorrow is going to be a dull day, so I think I will be locked in my room on the Xbox.

 

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It’s Been Announced – The Xbox One

Not really an original name, that being said not sure what else you would call it, but anyway, the Xbox One has been announced and at the moment I am feeling quite meh. There are various reasons for this feeling, not from a games front but what else the new console offers.

Xbox One

All in one entertainment system

The new Xbox One has been designed to function as an all in one entertainment system, not just a games console; this means it also works as a TV and entertainment platform, providing a wide entertainment experience.

I’m not too fussed about an all in one entertainment system, mainly because this Xbox will be in my man cave. I don’t have room to use the Kinect sensor for games; hopefully it will still work at short distances for what I need. Also I hope it actually listens to you, as my wife’s has a habit of ignoring her, she has nickname it after me (she’s not funny).

Inside

You will find inside the Xbox one an 8-core x86 CPU, 8GB of system memory and finally a Blu-ray drive. It also has 802.11n wireless with Wi-Fi direct connectivity and USB 3.0 and HDMI In and Out. The out means you could run your Sky box for example through the Xbox One. It also comes with Kinect; the sensor has a 1080p HD 30 FPS RGB camera and an upgraded microphone. Plus it can process up to 2GB of data per second, with its “Time of Flight” technology.

It does seem fairly impressive inside and game play does look good from what was shown, much better than what we have now. But I still think some of the specifications are slightly less than the PlayStation. Not that, that will make me switch, not a fan.

Controller

An important aspect is the controller, in fact one of the most important and luckily Microsoft haven’t done anything drastic. It has better grips, a simpler looking layout and the thumb sticks have more defined ergonomics. It also has responsive D-Pad and ‘Impulse’ triggers which are touted to being much better than old controllers. As well as the controller, you can also use Smartglass to work the system and of course the Kinect through speech, such as “Xbox on,” “Xbox, watch TV.”

Games, I’m going to save the games talk for another post, just a small one from the sneak peeks released at the launch. The main stuff will be coming out at E3 which is when I will be able to go into more detail.

My Thoughts….

Well until I see game quality (that’s all I care about) I won’t be making any judgements yet. I’m concerned about backwards compatible games and the fact that the Kinect is always on… watching you, plus the final price and new game price as well as the offers for membership now. For me if the games look sweet on it, I will probably buy, despite not needing the rest of the entertainment guff that comes with it. Then again I can afford it, what about those who can’t and just want a new games system?

Enjoy the videos:

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Cinema Treats

I want to go to the cinema to see the new Star Trek movie. But the wife won’t go; she wants to go and see the Great Gatsby and expects me to go see that instead with her. I will happily go see a film I don’t want to if she accompanies me to see something she doesn’t. I think that is a fair compromise, but she is having none of it. I suggested seeing if a cinema is showing them both at the same time and just being separate whilst watching our respective films. I even offered to take her out for food after. But again she was having none of it. She expects me to sit with her and watch a film I have no interest in, but won’t do the same for me. And she won’t sit on her own, so bloody annoying.

Anyway I have put my foot down and will not go to the cinema, either to see Star Trek or the Gatsby shit. Instead I am happy (just) to wait for the Blu-ray. That annoyed her immensely and she didn’t talk to me the whole weekend. It was bliss!

Anyway here are both trailers let me know what you think.

Star Trek Into darkness

The Great Gatsby (gay)

I must admit the trailer looks visually cool, just a shame I am not bothered about that, certainly not enough to sit at the cinema and watch it, maybe I will buy her the Blu-ray instead, not that she’ll appreciate that!

Her sulking meant she kept out of my way and I could watch Alonso with his second Spanish Grand Prix triumph in Barcelona. What a good Sunday, I also avoided any Manure shit!

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The time is nigh – GTA V

GTA VSo we only have to wait until September 17th now to get our hands on the latest GTA instalment! The end of September will see me go into semi hibernation as I get to grips with the new game. It looks epic, massive and full of fun. I feel like a giggly school boy when new games come out, and especially excited at the new GTA V game.

I watched a couple of trailers back in 2011 and 2012. But since then nothing else has been mentioned until now! You can see s number of new trailers including the characters. There are three leading characters to play; you can swap between each during play so really can get the most from the game. The main thing I have taken from the videos is that it looks epic. So much area to cover which was lacking from the last game and that it’s not as real to life so you can do some crazy kick arse stuff.

The characters are; Michael, bad guy gone straight, but bored with his family high life and misses the excitement of his bad days. Franklin is a black kid stuck in gang violence wants more than just being a drug pusher. And finally crackpot Trevor, a red neck hillbilly with what seems like anger issues. Should be fun!

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New Star Trek Film

I am a bit of a Star Trek geek, been watching the various guises since I was a kid, including all the films, yes I have the box sets. Anyway I am pretty excited for the latest Star Trek movie from JJ Abrams. A trailer was released last year, and another one was released this week. The release date has been moved forward for the release of Into Darkness to May 9th a whole 8 days earlier. I don’t often go to the cinema, only for films I am really excited to see, and this will be one this year.

The first reboot of Star Trek from JJ Abrams, came back in 2009, the original crew will be back for this including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg. Staring in this latest film is Benedict Cumberbatch, from Sherlock Holmes fame, (a favourite of my other half).

Storyline from Paramount Pictures:

Anyway I am pretty excited and so will you, once you see this great trailer:

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