supercat3 / Member

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supercat3 Blog

Weekend... what weekend?

Ah Monday. It's gloriously sunny today, I've been up since 6.30 and am industrious of mood. It's clearly a hangover from the weekend which has flown by at very high speed.

Saturday I went on a nice ride off to the coast. Ten mins from my house I was on the quayside and this is the view:

quay

No time to mess about so it's off as quickly as my legs would carry me to the old briney. On the way there I often pass this creepy old pub which is all by itself on the edge of an old trading estate and almost underneath a big railway bridge.

bogie chain.

It's called the Bogie Chain and advertises "Juke box, Darts & Dominos" on it's pub sign. It looks very like the sort of place that has a rape dungeon of some sort in it's basement. Brrr. It's proper spooky.

After an hour and a bit I arrived at the coast and after summoning the ice cream man from his pint of lager in a scruffy pub garden, to the winner...the spoils!

ice cream

He was called Jim and he gave me that strawberry sauce for free (apologies but I'd already licked most of it off by the time I took that pic... for the record, Jim ain't stingy with his stawberry sauce m'kay?). Bless him, although I'm sure it must be some sort of offence to be drunk in charge of an ice cream van. It was the first ice cream I'd had for years and it was just dandy.

Sunday I found myself facing, *takes big breath* 1.5KG apples, 1 kg of Shallots, 15 cloves of garlic, 1.5kg of tomatoes, 1kg of dates, 1kg raisins, 250g fresh ginger, 1kg of soft brown sugar and 600ml of malt vinegar.

So, armed with a sharp knife, a peeler, a gigantic cauldron and 20 jam jars I banged on a techstep Drum & Bass CD at considerable volume (@kleggnutt thanks for the last ingredient there chum) and set about making some chutney.

Now, I don't know how many of you have peeled and chopped this quantity of food before but it's jolly hard work let me tell you. After 2 hours it was all done and simmering in the pot with a spice bag I made from a stolen stocking off the missus which contained black peppercorns, coriander seeds, dried chillies, allspice, mace, bay leaves, celery seeds, cloves, fennel seeds & mustard seeds.

After an hour and a half we set up a production line sterilzing, filling, sealing and labeling jars. 19 in all and only one spoonful of the lovely stuff went in the bin. Now, all we do is wait 6 months before it's worth eating.... so you now know what you'll all be getting for christmas this year.

Sunday afternoon went out for a good ride to Ovingham - perhaps a 25 mile round trip. I got two punctures (including one in my spare innertube two mins after I'd fitted it) and ended up having to beg some gaffer tape from a pub in order to makeshift tape the inners. It was pretty pathetic but it managed to get us home. It took bleedin' hours and was one of the most arduous times I've had on a bike.

So we were knackered but I still managed to find a wee bit of time to play MW2 - I actually did rather well and excitedly I'm a whisker away from unlocking Fall for the M16 which is by far my favorite gun these days - armed with it I'm a menace on Storm getting two emergency airdrops in one single match. Nicely.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK YOU LOT!

Job Done. Good result.

So, running the risk of starting an arts and crafts blog here are the final process's and finished article... and I'm extremely pleased the way it's turned out!

The gun first needs priming, so it's dodging the rain and out into the yard:

primed

Then it's time to break out the paint - and yes, I did pretend to be a renounded Graf artist when purchasing this can of Montana Gold.

Looking good enough to eat.

pink

Leave a day to dry totally, then the painting begins - this has to be done in several stages so the acrilic paints set properly and layer well.

splash

And after much splashing paint up the walls and skirting boards, much to my wifes unbridled joy, I deemed it finished. It's been lacquered which now dry makes it plastic smooth to touch and really shiny. It looks really cool and yes, this is going to get hung up in my house as a proper objet d'art.

It's taken a while from start to finish and there's a lot of hours need putting in to get it done to a good standard but I'm well pleased and think it was worth it. What d'you reckon? Am I the new Damien Hirst or ******* what?

blu

Finishing an AK47

Well chums after an early start the gun is finished.

TAADAAA!

Finished product.

I'm pretty pleased with it and and probably as surprised as you are that it actually looks pretty much as it's supposed to.

The most laborious piece is probably the Magazine but I took a vast amount of care and it's come outs sweet as a nut.

magazine

Now, I'll let all the glue dry properly and later on this afternoon give it a good coat of aerosol primer. After that it's time to decide on a colour scheme.

I've been struck with the idea of a Jackson Pollock type finish - I reckon it'd look rather brilliant. Pink base with yellow, blue, white and red splashes.

Building an AK47

Folk may be aware that a few weeks ago I put together a lifesize paper model of a HK MP5. It was great fun and it's currenty hanging on my office wall.

I decided it was such good fun I'd build another one and after deep thought, agreed it just had to be an AK47.

It arrived on Saturday and I began it immediately. This time I made sure I'd thoroughly read the instructions before I started. I've realised it makes all the difference.

So after a couple of days of work I thought I'd take some time out today and get recommence building. Here's my workshop this morning. You'll see a few pieces of the gun that I've semi assembled there on the corner.

pl

you

That coffee cup got good use and slowly but surely it started to come together...

Gun

Particularly pleased with the barrel piece which was a real B4stard to put together.

barrel

So after lunch I did a little more and here's where we are right now -

nug

Hell yes. You see, it's so damn good even old Buddha can't stop smiling.

Barrel nearly finished,

I need to finish the barrel piece, The magazine needs building and the trigger guard arrangement needs constructing.

Think I've done pretty well, as soon as I've finished it then it's time to think about what colour(s) I'm going to spray it.

I'm already thinking of a bubblegum pink and yellow sort of scheme - dunno... any suggestions welcome.

Getting Crafty

The Frenchie & I took advantage of the beautiful weather & went out for a good ride on Saturday - went to North Sheilds to the fish quay where upon I picked up two big crabs and a couple of handfuls of plump shrimps for supper.

Now, since moving up here I've heard mutterings of the existance of a really old tunnel going under the Tyne - a tunnel that's just for pedestrians and bikes. I've searched for this mythical structure and never found it - that is, until last week.

The entrance is like a steampunk flying saucer and once inside you're faced with a huge, wooden escalator descending into the earths bowels - apparently this was the longest escalator in Europe when it was built back in 1947.

At the bottom you then have the choice of which tunnel to take:

tunnel

I dived down the right and what a awesome feeling it is to whizz thru the cool air in this lonely ceramic subway on a bike, under a river.

tunnel2

The great thing is that it's now so far in the middle of nowhere (all the local houses & factories etc have been long demolished) it's totally unvandalised and in tip top nick as very few people use it never mind know about it.

After this little trip and 4 hours in the saddle we arrived back into town on the south side of the river and stopped at the Baltic art gallery for well deserved pots of tea and steak sandwiches.

the baltic

After wolfing down our food we had a look around the ubiquitous shop they have there - it's exactly like every other art gallery shop being full of hysterically priced books and various bits & bobs that you'll never need but somehow want once you realise they exist. Resisting the temptation to buy some enormous poncy coffee table book on Grafitti I fell in love with a lifesize paper model kit of one of these... you know, as you do:

mp5

Now, I've not made a model of anything since I was a kid and since my patience even gets frayed while waiting to finish having a p1ss, I didn't have high hopes of completing it before throwing it out a window. So, armed with a scalpel and a tube of glue I've set about building it. And.... it's such good fun I can't believe it. Super tortuous, some of the pieces are jolly complicated, but it's really rewarding to see it coming together slowly but surely. I know what you're thinking chums, you're thinking it'll be all:

rubbish

HELL NO! Believe it or not - it's all this:

MP5

I've just got to complete & attach the barrel/ sight cluster, which is particularly fiddly, and it's finished! I've got some spray paint at home too so as soon as it's complete I'm going to spray it bright Orange, lacquer it and hang it on my office wall.

Having done a bit of research and having got better at building it all the way through I'm going to build another one - but this time bigger & more complicated. You can also get a lifesize paper AK47 and a M4A8 -

AK47

m4a8

Question is - which one to make?

MW2 Vortex theory.

Right, I'm continuing in my MW2 addiction and on certain days can actually be pretty good... or rather, certain games I can be pretty good. Others, utter trash struggling to get into a positive k/d spread.

I can't figure this out at all and having thought about it in probably far too much depth have concocted a crack pot theory as to why this may be. Bear with me here. Go grab a cup of coffee or a beer, sit down, relax and I'll take you through it...

OK. Modern Warefare 2 is a FPS that once you've settled on a selection of guns/ load outs thatyou can predict and handle well you're halfway there. Then, the maps. Once you know the maps, you know the carnie holes, choke points, common mistakes made (cos you've made them yourself at some point in your journey), appropriate load outs and rapidly how to combat certain situations with either a defensive or offensive stance.

So, you can shoot straight, you normally get your grenades through the windows you're aiming for and you know the map layout. So far so obvious right?

This established, your success then generally hinges upon the quality & ability of the opposition right? Now, we've all played high ranking players and they've been utterly rubbish... they've played like a million games and they've learnt literally nothing, still just run into places guns blazing and finishing the match 7 - 26, time after time. Conversely we've all played against raw recruit ranks only to find that they're either "2nd accounters" or have been playing MW1 for the last millenium and are such horribly excellent shots it doesn't matter that they don't know the maps.

But, lets agree that on the whole, the higher ranked people are better than the lower ones. My problem is that how can I playfor say 10 matches straight and go from +14 - 0 on one map and then get absolutely annihilated on the next map? I mean pounded, destroyed.

From MVP to worlds biggest klutz in a second.

This happens more regularly than I'd like. I'm not making any obvious errors. My accuracy isn't off. My opposition are no better than before. The maps I like and are familiar with. So what the f*ck is going on?

I tell you what's going on. I'm stuck out of "the vortex" for that game. That's whats going on.

You start a map, let's say Highrise for example. As soon as the whistle blows your team all rush out of the building -largely sticking together -and head over for a fight with the opposition... who are also currently rushing from their side to try and kill you. Quite frequently both teams totally miss each other and before you know it, you're in their empty base/ spawn point and they're in yours throwing flashbangs about the joint trying to stun enemies that aren't actually there.

This swap of ends (for example) becomes somewhat of a rythym and this creates a"vortex" for the want of a better word. People die & respawn regularly, the competition is fairly evenly matchand you're feeling on point. You're making a few kills, you're into the swing of it.. you get it...it's a good game.

Right, my postulation is that the games I then get obliterated immediately afterwards (or immediately before for that matter) are often when where ever I'm running it seems someones got there before me and has already taken up aim.Then when I respawn, I run around the first corner straight into a shotgun. Then when I've finally stopped shaking & venture outside I get shot in the back immediately. Before I know it I'm like 6 lives down....I can't stay alive never mind thinking about getting a damnkill.

In this case everything is disjointed, it is not flowing at all and I feel no rythym in the game even though it's ostensibly EXACTLY the same game as I was kicking ass in on an industrial scale immediately before.

The reason is that I'm totally out of sync with the movements and flow of both teams. I'm respawning pointing the wrong way, in the wrong place and emerge just as someone has thrown a grenade or 3 enemies are rounding in on my location or whatever.

It's an odd theory I'll admit but this flow and ebb of team gameplay on certain maps undeniablydoes happen to be fairly formularic so it's not that crazy to think that if you drop out of this "syncronisation" or you join a game midway (most of the times I feel "out of the vortex" and get heinously punished is when I join a game midpoint and just haven't a clue in which way each team is flowing) you could spawn as an unweary sitting duck and quickly get stuck in a pattern of rapid deaths where you can't even buy a kill.

Just like when you're "in the vortex", you round corners just at the right time, you take up position just in time for an lazy double kill... you just can't believe how easy the opposition are to kill right now!

I know I've played against people before and while they're much higher ranking than me I've felt kinda sorry for them as I've caught them running in the wrong direction 6 times in quick succession and just gunned them down in the back. They are an example of being "out of the vortex."

Whether I can come up with any complex mathematical equations to prove this I seriously doubt but it works in my head. The solution to it? Well, you can either just suck it up and play it as cautiously as possible as a damage limitation exercise, quit, or just hide somewhere and then try and rejoin the fray if you spot an opening.

Maybe I'll try the latter for once sometime rather than just quitting out of games that I inexplicably find myself -6 down within a minute and a half of starting!

And finally... the sunflowers. The wife has taken the first casualty, one out of the three that she had - the runt of the litter - is now dead. I had nothing to do with it's premature demise I promise.

I have 14 healthy specimens all reaching for the sky. Tallest so far is a mighty 8 cm and I'm already making enquires as how to contact the Guinness book of records in anticipation.

Our Friends in the North.

Wowee. I'm loving it, and my wife seems to agree.

Living on the edge of the town centre, I've already just bumped into a bunch of folks who I know from my youth,some I'm pleased to see... some I'm less pleased to see tbh but it's all good.

I've been cycling everywhere and had a few good ride outs already to the coast and today had a marvelous ride to a little place called Wylam which is about 13 miles away from Newcastle itself. I took my road bike which being ali/carbon is very rigid... which was a bad idea as its pretty bumpy and gravel strewn so while I can take the constant bumps through the frame I was constantly having to stare at the trail to make sure I didn't get a puncture. Next time I'll take the MTB.

Lovely day, like summer. Horses all over the place, butterflies flitting about and I even spotted a bunch of the new seasons pheasants scoffing berries.

I've had a few rides like this so far - I love it.

I've re acqainted myself with a pub that I haven't been to in some 17 years. The Free Trade Inn.

free trade

And, thankfully in 17 years, apart from a couple of bits on the jukebox, it hasn't changed at all. Incredibly they actually have a website which is reassuringly lo-tech:http://freetradeinn.com/page2.htm

It's a proper old boozer and compared to all the glitzy, nouveau bollocks that seems to be consuming everywhere else, this joint is a true gem. The toilets are a disgrace, there's no TV and apart from crisps and a few sandwiches they don't do food. Highly recommended indeed... plus it has the best view of the sunset over the river and bridges in the entire city. Just ace and it's a place I'm keen to get to know more and more & more.

I seem to be doing everything but gaming these days. Still having a spin on MW2 here & there but now my wife is still looking for a job and I'm busy with work myself there just doesn't seem to be much time. I've still got an unopened copy of Bioshock2 sitting just by my PS3.. unthinkable.

Oh, and get your sunflowers planted right now if you want to be part of the great indoor sunflower world series. I planted mine a week ago, the missus hers 10 days ago. It's the highest specimen that wins (hers are already sprouting and 1" high).

Happy growing chaps..

Go North Young Man

Oh yes. It's busy here right now - I've got a couple of bits of business reaching critical mass and my wife is going thermal on an hourly basis and accusing me of having not done enough preparation for our impending house move.

Nonsense I say, we're not moving until the 19th March so there's plenty of time and what could possibly go wrong?

The truck is organised, the key pick ups are set, phone lines scheduled to be cut and re installed... now all I need to do is to work through a giant list of organisations that need my new address, thenpack everything I own securely into boxes and load it onto a truck. And then unload it. And then reinstall it.

Like I say, what possibly could go wrong with this?

So, we're moving up hundreds of miles from the sunny coastal town of Brighton to Newcastle Upon Tyne in the distinctly less sunny North East of England.

Newcastle, famous for it's bridges

bridge

It's beer:

brown ale

and it's often tragic football team:

The toon.

Yes, that's us in the black & white stripes. Fighting amongst ourselves like a bunch of big girls in front of 40,000 paying spectators.

We're moving right into town and my new local pub will be the Trent House:

The Trent

In fact, you can almost see our new gaff on that Georgian Terrace there. It's jolly lah di dah.

It'll be quite a shock to be there but I'm looking forward to it a whole lot - must go now, it appears my missus wants a vigourous word about what she percieves to be a serious shortfall in the amount of boxes I've been tasked to gather. Ah Brilliant.

*Ah, and Blackhawk. I'll expect thee round for dinner, drinks and some gaming.

Breaking the million, rich food and decent scotch.

Returning from a half decent local resto I find myself engorged with all manner of tasty morsels. Fantastic moist guinea fowl stuffed with boudin noir, crab cakes with lobster bisque for starters and an obscene chocolate fondant to finish me off...I now look like I'm about to give birth to big triplets.

So, here I am, sitting herein an absolute state of largess sipping a glass of Islay malt.... for digestive purposes clearly. I've loved scotch for a few years and a while ago settled finally on Caol Ila as my preferred pick of the bunch.

caol 18 yr old

Delicious. Smoky, peaty and very full bodied. I am still a big fan of Lagavulin and the older Bruichladdich (apart from the price) but as a vaguely affordable & availablescotch it's the best that Islay has to offer in my book. Having guzzled my fair share from every distillery on this island, their 18 Y.O is as good as you'll get anywhere in Scotland.

DE

This Distillers edition is not only awesome but it's a little known fact that it's the only entire bottle of whiskey I've opened & consumed in one single evening (with my little brothers ample help. Another little known fact is that he was subsequently sick the next morning in a cafe lavatorywhile meeting his then girlfriend for coffee and muffins)

However, everything isn't just Scottish. I do quite like Japanese malts and while I'm not a massive fan of blends, I picked up a bottle of this last year in Bangkok airport. After a shaky opening it's a jolly good dram.

Hibiki

Hibiki means balance in Japanese. And I must say, this is a pretty balanced whisky - better and far more original than the Yamazki that I spent a fortune on a couple of years ago...mydumb ass- which just tasted like an impeccable copy of a good Speyside. Highly recommended from me & it'd make a grand present for someone who likes whisky & wants something a bit different from their usual drop.

While not nearly having the depth and smoothness of the Queens house scotch, Blue Label, it's certainly interesting and is quarter of the price of Johnny Walkers flagship. OK. I know...but don't get me started on that Blue Label George V stuff... I slobbered over the bottles & f*ck me, almost convinced myself to snaffle one in it's sumptuous velvet box at he same time I was looking at that Hibiki but come on... 250 quid for a BLEND ...IN DUTY FREE?! Luckily/unfortunately I realised that it was the jetlag talking and I've still never tried it.

So *slurp* whats going on. I've made a big breakthrough on the old life relocation - we should be out of Brighton and living in the veritable old city of Newcastle within 6 weeks. I can't wait... plans for a new company, some good rides out to the Coast and I'm already planning out routes to cycle to the Lake District on the north west side. Anyway, more of that to laboriously come in the future I'm afraid.

I've recently *gulp* made it into the top million on MW2.... thats right.. I'm now globally 900,000 and something. FEAR ME- can't deny that as the unlocks become more elusive, the more pleasure I have in getting them. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a distinctly average player but I'vealmost cracked a 1.2 K/D with 9000 odd kills and the games attraction isn't waning. All good and it's great to get your moneys worth/borderline crack addiction from a game for once. I'm still not vain enough to prestige.

Someone mentioned Bioshock 2 to me the other day. Now I do remember really liking Bioshock. But come on...MW2 is corny, unoriginal and just f*cking great fun... this ride isn't over.

Slainte!