Hi folks! I'm just back - literally - from the Edinburgh festival. A fantastic time, and I advise everyone to go at least once in their lives. Ooaargh. If you're around, check out Wil Hodgson - This genius is a My Little Pony loving, pink mohawked ex wrestler with a fine turn of phrase, the anger of a righteous skinhead and the sensitivity of a care bear. His show provides laughs and contains enough meat to give anyone who has ears to hear and brain to understand pause for thought. Go see. :arrr:
So, I'm sorry to all those of my many, many fans who I have promised phone calls and packages to - Details arrived with me after my departure, so goodies will be forthcoming shortly..... Bwahahahaa. *hides writhing pseudopods in package*
Damn this game. Over 24 hours spent on it, in just over a week and a half.... I can see all its flaws. I can see all the rough edges and the bits that make me go "man, I wish they'd done that better", but I don't really care. The whole outshines the minor specks so much that I can't stop playing it. 24 hours, and I've barely even touched the main quest.
Today, I managed to join the Mages' guild properly. After travelling to every major city and completing quests for each guild, I was given a quest to retrieve an amulet from a grave. Now, I'm begining to suspect that the game starts throwing bigger and nastier monsters at you as you level up, because the fort I had to retrieve it from contained a whole bunch of badass warriors. Using the age-old technique of sneaking in and taking a couple out at a time, I soon found myself legging it at top speed chased by two armour-plated beefcakes. My health was dropping fast, and I eventually took shelter in a lake and rested as they gave up the chase. Slipping into the armour I piched from their fallen comrades, I snuck back in and easily took the two heavily wounded thugs out. The rest of the dungeon was a cinch.... until I get to the crypt where a troll and a willow-the-wisp are waiting. Lucky I brought a silver longsword. Thwak, snick.... oh shit... run away! Door's locked, and I spend the next ten mins running from a stupid sparkly mist and healing myself, occasionally whalloping it with a silver sword. Eventually, it's dead, and so am I, nearly! Time to rest... oh, no. Stupid arse mage wants to fight me. He smells, though, and with one chop I deck him up. Yarrr. I now have a sparkly Mage's Staff of lightening. Take that, sukkaaaaaz.
I'm in all the guilds now. Even the nasty Dark Brotherhood. What's most unusual is that, once you get past the scary door and disturbing visits in the night, they all seem like the sort of people you'd meet at the Queen's 80th Birthday teaparty. Apart from the fact that they like to murder people in their beds. Morals? What's them?
Why is this game so good? Why did I feel an enourmous swell of pride and accomplishment when I joined the Mages Guild? Maybe because I've built my knight up from a total non magic user to someone who's nifty with both sword and spell. Maybe because the epic story you create for your character is as good as any classic fantasy epic, such as Magician or Lankhmar. Maybe because I'm a geek. But, I love my level 11 Redguard knight named Spoon.
I'm off to the Dead By Dawn film festival in the morning. How will I live without Oblivion for a week?
Yes, it's true... I've not been on here much, and I've not been letting you know about what is occuring in the life of Dag. Alas, I've not been a well boy. I've been suffering from panic and anxiety attacks, so much so that the doc has put me on some medicine that's been having some "entertaining" side effects as it takes hold.
Hopefully, normal service shall be resumed shortly.
I love Glasgow. Had a fantastic weekend away up there, despite a horrific chest infection that's still annoying me.
The weekend involved accordion lessons (must buy one!), "testing" all the classic malts from Talisker, Russian food and Gypsy dancers, a concert from Robyyn Hitchcock (and Peter Buck of REM), and much shopping. I came away a happier, richer (although financially poorer) chappy. I even got a DS! Hoorah! So, anyone want to visit my Animal Crossing city?
And so, Mr Dag has finally sorted the Christmas package for Lady Miss Ren. How crap is he? The answer is very crap. It shall be in the post by the weekend.
The good news is that I actually did some writing yesterday. "Good Lord!" I hear you cry, "Can it be? Can he really have pulled his finger out?" Well, yes and no. It was supposedly a short story that was going to go on the invites to my Birthday Party, but it kind of took on a life of its own. The seed of a good idea has been sown and the story went off in a new direction, as all good stories do. I'm now in two minds about using the short version and putting it into the public domain, just in case I want to do the big version. What do you think, adoring fans? What should I do?
I'm woken from a deep, whisky-fuelled, slumber by what sounds like half my shelves of DVDs collapsing. My neice runs screaming through the house that's still shaking. For about half a minute, the noise rumbles in the air before building to a second explosion. And that's clearly what it is. My first thought is that London has been hit by a massive bomb, or that there's been a major accident on the M25.
Later, as the phone starts ringing to ask if we're alright, we discover that this is what happened pretty much down the road:
Buncefield oil terminal, owned by my former employers, erupted in "the largest explosion in peace-time europe". The fires are still raging. Black smoke still fills the sky. Everywhere smells of burnt petrol. Just over forty people were injured - No-one died. Had it happened on any other day, it could have been catastrophic. Police are treating it as an accident, which means it's more that likely not a terrorist act - For the oil company to accept the blame up front indicates they know exactly what happened, among other reasons.
For the kids, this is hilarious. All their schools are shut cos of the gas hanging in the air. I'm looking forwards to when it starts to rain dirty oil all over our winter roads......
And in other news, I can finally announce what the MYSTERY TELEVISION SHOW I worked on was.
Space Cadets, from Endemol, starting December 7th, C4.
A group of around 20 people have been selected from those who responded to an advert looking for "thrillseekers" for a new TV show. These guys are being flown to a Russian military training base, where they will undergo rigorous physical and mental training. They will then board a space shuttle and be launched into space. They will spend four days in a low orbit as the first reality TV stars in space. At the end of the show, they are to leave the shuttle and perform a space walk.
Or so they think.
The Russian military base is in the UK. The shuttle is a life-size replica, borrowed from the film Space Cowboys. It's mounted on a state-of-the-art simulator, all viewscreens are replaced with ultra-high def TVs, and over 50 surround speakers are hidden in the craft. They will never leave earth. For each day that they don't figure out what is going on, they get £5,000 each. They will also receive extensive counsiling upon "return" to earth.
This could be very interesting viewing. The lengths the producers have gone to to construct the illusion is astounding - not just physical, by also psychological. I was involved in the audition process, helping to evaluate contestants via some sneaky means. I may even be in the first episode. I shall keep you posted.
Daggypants did get a job. I should have updated this a while ago, as I've been doing it for a few weeks now. However, I am a lazy and also a busy. So, the job is Regional Services Co-ordinator for the Personal Finance Society, which is part of the CII. I'm in charge of making sure the 20,000 members get good communications regarding events we're putting on, gathering market research from the members, dealing with the speakers and making sure they are not naughty, and also writing plenty of copy for various monthly magazines and newsletters. It's good enough pay - almost what I was on before I quit to do the LSJ - and the job is varied and interesting. At the same time, I'm getting to continue with my freelance journalism. I had to do a review of an Australian movie called Feed recently - one of the most morally bankrupt films I have ever seen. This movie takes a serious subject and turns it into a freak show. It's horrific in terms of its body fascism and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.