Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Monday 31 December 2007

2007 In Review

The time now here in Ireland is 19:41, on the 31st of December 2007. I was just bored and since I plan to have a quiet night in I kinda just got the idea to do up a little blog (which is also unprepared so it's gonna be a little crappy too!).

I thought about the year and then realised...there wasn't exactly much I could remember!! Naturally I can recall things which I had to deal with on a personal level but as far as public or worldwide stuff goes I got a bit stuck.

So instead, I figured I'd do a Top Five Best & Worst Moments of 2007. Really now, the lists are fairly mixed up between personal stuff and other stuff, so it looks a little messy and what not but who gives a fuck really, you're probably already bored having had to read through these three paragraphs of crap!

Top Five Worst Moments of 2007

5. Stan is not the Man
I, and so many other Irish fans this year suffered greatly on the sporting front. A team the country was once proud of, now sits in shame...

4. Bertie's Money
It has drawn the attention of everyone Ireland, the man leading our country doesn't know where his money is coming from. Catherine will be pleased to see that I'm having a go at Bertie here, but the implications should the tribunals investigation show that Bertie was in the wrong will have huge effects on Fianna Fail, this government, and Irish politicians in general.

3. Benazir Bhutto Assassination
A recent one yes, but given the severity of the event and the current political situation in Pakistan, the assassination of Benazir means there's going to be a rocky 2008 for Pakistan.

2. Madeleine McCann
Probably the biggest story of the entire year. Yes you might say it's terrible that its not number 1 but those who frequent my blog know that I far from support the McCann family. Nevertheless it was (and still is) a terrible tragedy and has affected more people and grasped the world more so than anything else this year.

1. The Rugby World Cup
Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing can express my disappointment regarding this tournament. We saw Ireland crash out in unfashionable style and England make it all the way to the bleedin' final!!

Top Five Best Moments of 2007

5. This Is Living!
The Playstation 3 made it to Europe this year, and although it had a rocky start it has now fully established itself in the market. I am completely satisfied with the package, and whats more is that the PS3 has now pretty much launced the advent of Blu-Ray technology!

4. Five More Years!
I haven't really written anything political recently, partly because I have neither the time nor the patience to research political matters in depth. But I DID cover this years General Election and I'm happy with the end result. If anything I'm more impressed with the performance of the Greens, we've seen tonnes of new anti-carbon emission and more "Green" policies coming in. Also, the current Government has now paved the way for HUGE infrastructural projects over the coming year, meaning there'll be plenty of jobs available when I graduate.

3. Grinds
Before I had finished second level, I had done my best to avoid giving grinds to anyone, simply because I was sceptical about my ability to deliver them effectively. 2007 showed that I can, and has presented me with a form of income that I enjoy and receive instantaneously. Never before have I had so many people request for grinds and it's a strange feeling when you know you're in demand!

2. Man Utd
Ah yes, too long have Manchester United been left out of the Premiership crown, and 2007 saw balance restored to the Premiership. Not only did United win the league convincingly, but they made it to the final of the FA Cup, the semi-final of the champions league and they also finished with 9 players on the team of the year, aswell as Cristiano Ronaldo winning any and every award the Premiership has to offer!

1. College Grant
I don't win much, and you could probably say I'm being a bit bigheaded making this number 1, but fuck it! The sheer shock and amazement at receiving a grant for my performance in first year college was by far my happiest memory of 2007. Not many things make me happy, but if anything, the grant showed to me that hard work does pay off!

So, what have we got to look forward to come 2008? Like the points above, I've got a mix of personal and public interests:
  • Well I mentioned the PS3 earlier, and with the DUALSHOCK 3 on the way, aswell as exclusives like "God of War 3", "Metal Gear Solid 4", "Haze" and "Gran Turismo" there's a lot to look forward to, aswell as "Grand Theft Auto 4" and "Star Wars: Force Unleased".
  • 2008 Olympics will hopefully go without a hitch. There's been a lot of criticism regarding China and what not, but only time will tell.
  • Andy Lee is likely to go for a World Title in boxing....certainly something to look out for.
  • Republic of Scotland? There was a lot of talk about this year and 2008 may very well be the year that Scotland becomes fully independent. It would be an amazing event, given that there are very few political events of that kind nowadays that are good.
  • Will Madeleine be found? Enough said.
  • Metallica are set to release their new album come this February/March. All we know so far is that there are 9 tracks and they've announced 3 European tour dates already. Here's hoping that I'll be waiting outside the RDS this year....
  • There's a few films and TV programmes I'm looking forward to, "John Rambo", "Cloverfield", "Lost Series 4" and so on are supposedly on the way. But given the strike in the States at the moment who knows what will happen.
  • Pakistan, Iraq, invasion of Iran? Iraq is still a disaster and Pakistan could follow suit, but with word this year of a potential invasion of Iran, will the Middle East once again be engulfed in war?
  • New U.S President! It's fairly likely we'll have a Democrat in the White House, but is America ready for its first female President in Hillary Clinton, or even its first African-American President in Barack Obama????

Did you also see that 2007 was the year I started my blog and my comics, hopefully I will still be here this time next year, posting the usual waffle and making the same old same old comics!

Here's to 2008!!

~The Damo

Wednesday 26 December 2007

Avatar Project Log - Part 1

I forgot to mention in the last blog so now it's getting its own, but I've also FINALLY started to get working on the Eldar Avatar from Forgeworld....which I got oh emmmmm 5 months ago!
I'm also planning to finally paint up the new Dark Reapers and Prince Yriel aswell which I've had for *cough* 10 months *cough*.

Not to mention I've also got to paint:
High Elf Lord
High Elf Noble
High Elf Archmage
High Elf Mage (Mounted)
5 Shadow Warriors
Dragon Lord Kit
Alith Anar
2 Lion Chariots
Chaos Lord
Chaos Sorcerer
Empire Helblaster Volleygun
20 Empire Flagellants
10 Empire State Troops
10 Empire Handgunners

And yeah...there's more....I'll admit it's quite unlikely that I'll get that done, but I am definitely setting out to get the Eldar and High Elf stuff done!

So anyway yeah, back to the Avatar, I have to get from this:

To this:

I reckon I can do just aswell as Darren there...

~The Damo

Revenant Titan Project Log - Part 2

Last night I finished the assembly and cleaning of the main constituent components:

I'm going for a primarily green colour as is standard with the rest of my Eldar, with white pulsars, leg plates and head, and black shoulder pads and groin plates.

Basically I'm trying to make it echo the Wraithlord model below (which was in fact modelled of the Revenant when the new Wraithlord kit was released).

Now it's on to white and black spray undercoats.....

~The Damo

Tuesday 25 December 2007

Season 3 Promotion!!!

The 3rd and final season of my comics is underway!!! The promotional strip is available for download from ME via MSN or email or whatever.

This blog is pretty short but I cannot upload the image as you well know, so instead I'm just going to ramble here for a brief period in a vane yet also pathetic attempt to keep you interested in what I'm saying, giving you a faint prospect that I may indeed actually write something of use, who knows, maybe I've secretly encoded a cure for cancer in my words, or have given away the secret of life. True it's well known that I postulate such matters, and really, I DO need to write another postulation blog, possibly about abortion since that's a kindof serious issue, or maybe a postulating blog about postulations, now there's something to postulate. Have you ever seen "Are You Smarter than a 10 year old?", it really is amazing to see how stupid some people can be. Speaking of stupid people, you knows who's stupid, Jamie Lynn Spears, getting knocked up by her 19 year old boyfriend who apparently is being sued for statutory rape! Rape, there's another postulation blog there, but I think I'll avoid it. Did you notice that I haven't posted a blog about the Madeleine mystery because they haven't been in the news, well actually they have, they were sent hundreds upon thousands of presents for Christmas, which pisses me off because they neither deserve them and why should they get presents when there's parents who've lost a child aswell. Children can be annoying, one of my brothers dropped one of his presents behind the radiator, it couldn't be pulled from the bottom and took me about half an hour to get it out. See my Revenant below, it took me half an hour to get all the pieces moderately prepped and arranged like that for the photo. Oh, and did you notice I replaced my photo of Kenny Craig on the left because I went as Bjorn the Gay Swedish priest on Halloween aswell. I still have the goatee I cultivated for the costume though and have no intention of getting rid of it in the long run.

Speaking of long, I've made this blog long enough now to keep you interested!

~The Damo

Revenant Titan Project Log - Part 1

Santa Claus was very good to me this year, and forked out a whopping €250 to bring me the Eldar Revenant Titan from Forgeworld.

I'll be keeping posts on my progress here since this will be my largest project to date, of TITANic proportions (pun intended!). The honchos at GW said it would take me about a month, so if I get it done before 25th of January (including custom trophy base) then I'm better than them!

At first I thought they were just lazy, but then I unpacked the kit.....

Each of those pieces has to be washed, sanded and filed, then assembled in whatever pose I chose, undercoated, painted and then placed on a custom base....

God help me...

~The Damo

An Angry Nerd Christmas Carol

Two Videos here from the Nerd for the Christmas Season!!

In other news, the Nerd's DVD VOLUME 1 arrived on Sunday, absolutely brilliant, defo worth the wait!

Part 1:

Part 2:

~The Damo

Wednesday 19 December 2007

Why They're the Best!!!!

There's only one team in England, I found this the other day, brilliant compilation!

The choice of "Bodies" at the start is excellent, my fav is number 2, Scholes!!

~The Damo

Thursday 13 December 2007

Top Ten Metallica!!!

For my 100th post of Master Engineer of Sigmar's Realm I figured I'd do something with a bang, totally rockin', and what better than a Top Ten of one of the world's top metal bands. 25 years later and they're still goin'! Bring on Hall of Fame 2008!!!

Remember, this is just IN MY OPINION!!!!


10. Turn the Page (From Garage Inc.)

9. Fade to Black (From Ride the Lightning)

8. Battery (From Master of Puppets)

7. Blackened (From ...And Justice for All)

6. For Whom the Bell Tolls (From Ride the Lightning)

5. Seek and Destroy (From Kill 'Em All)

4. Creeping Death (From Ride the Lightning)

3. Master of Puppets (From Master of Puppets)

2. One (From ...And Justice for All)

1. ...And Justice for All (From ...And Justice for All)

You'd never guess what my favourite albums are.....

~The Damo

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Grinds My Gears!! - Issue 13

Catherine said I had to update my blog, so today I thought I'd post up all the stuff that I'd wanted to post (including about 4 or 5 posts below this one). If she keeps it up though....she'll be getting a GMG all to herself soon! (Only joking!)

Anyway, I've been wanting to publish this issue of GMG for sometime, and it was only after I came across some videos on YouTube, which are available at the bottom of the blog, that I really encouraged myself to get on and type it up. Of course, I recommend you watch those videos after reading this.

So yeah, anyway, you know what grinds my gears?? Well do ye? The British Media! Those regular readers know that I don't appreciate the British Media at all, especially in regard to its coverage of Madeleine McCann (which Sky News has now removed from its site, YAY!) and Princess Diana, but this also extends to sport.

I think the issue which pisses me off most is that they will cover any story like this to no end, clogging up the TV when other minor stories get a little snippet (the Sky Sports News one best shows this). Take the Canoe story at the moment. You couldn't not find this story on Sky, at least the BBC did some different stories, I mean Sky were interviewing former co-workers and everything!! And don't get me started again on the McCanns and their bleedin' family friends!

Another thing that annoys me is the shear arrogance (probably isn't the right word) of the British Media regarding their sports stars. Remember Paula Radcliffe who "collapsed" during the marathon in Athens? Well Sky spent the whole week coming up with reasons as to why she gave up; the road was too hot, the race was too long, there were too many other athletes etc. Why can't they just admit she was CRAP! Or take Lewis Hamiliton this year, they were complaining that Alonso and Spanish Formula 1 board requested that an independent investigator be present at McClaren to make sure Hamiliton didn't get any preferential treatment. COMPLAINING!! It's all well and good to wish your stars good luck on TV, but to try and downplay a very legitimate request regarding a British driver on a British team is unnacceptable.

Before England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 this year, the English Panel would refuse to admit that there team was shit. We knew it over here, the whole of Europe new it, but the English panel felt they had a divine right to be the be the worlds best. I cannot describe to you the satisfaction I felt seeing Croatia score that 3rd goal, and credit to the BBC, there panel had the balls to say they were crap, but that still doesn't account for the years and years of rubbish we had to put up with.

The same goes for Rugby, no sooner had South Africa won, than the article on Sky Sports went up, criticising the decision to disallow the try that might have won England the game. Or most recently, in the Hatton Vs Mayweather fight, it was very interesting to read that the referee "favoured" Mayweather and didn't allow Hatton to get into his stride, whereas on, the referee had to "work hard" to keep the match clean and fair.

The shear ignorance of the British Media seems to know no bounds, and that is why I have the following two videos below.

First, is Apres Match's play on Sky Sports:

Second is called "Channel Hopping" where it illustrates the difference between English and Irish coverage of the English Team:

And finally this one, it has nothing to do with the blog but its just funny!

Okie Doke, huh LIVE!

~The Damo

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - Review

I remember when I first heard there would be a Lego Star Wars game that I had serious doubts about how "Lego" and "Star Wars" and the PS2 would work. Needless to say, those doubts were crushed when Episode 1 Level 1: Negotiations loaded up on the screen.

How the developers could've have made this game so "right" is beyond me. It had been a long time since I had played something that was simply "fun" and satisfying. I don't know what it is but there's just something about going around the Geonosian Arena as General Grevious hacking up loads of battle droids that's so entertaining!

And then we heard there would be a sequel involving the original trilogy, and somehow.... SOMEHOW it actually got BETTER!! The sequel included usable vehicles, new powerups, longer levels and just more....FUN!

So when I heard there would be a new improved game, compiling both games into one and redesigning the first game to accomodate improvements made in the second, I had it down as a must buy for the PS3 this year. And despite the fact that my brothers have the original two on the PS2, I don't regret buying The Complete Saga for myself in the slightest.

The menu is the same as the one in The Original Trilogy, using the Mos Eisely Cantina as the link way to each of the six episodes. Here you can also edit your own two customisable characters and purchase unlockable ones and extras which can make the gameplay more fun (believe it or not!). It's perhaps the lack of intensity that makes this game so successful. If you die, you just break apart, lose some coins, then come back to life.... And believe me, you will die..a LOT! Most enemies die with one hit of the lightsaber or blaster or bitch slap (if you're Princess Leia) though some can take two or three hits, depending on who they are. Generally speaking the game isn't exactly challenging, but that's what makes it so much fun. The Jedi Battle level can be a little tricky and the jumping for the Obi-Wan VS Anakin duel can be annoying aswell, but that's not sufficient to detract from the enjoyment of the game.

The game uses the "Gold Brick" system again, one for completing the level, another for finding all ten canisters and a final one for getting "True Jedi". In total there are 160 Gold Bricks to be found, which are then used to unlock bonus levels. In total there is 160 new characters including Indiana Jones to promote the forthcoming Lego: Indiana Jones game. There are 36 standard story levels, a number of bonus levels specific to their respective film, aswell as 6 other bonus levels (including two lego cities) and 20 Bounty Hunter Levels. Out of 36 standard levels there are 4 key things to be achieved (not including the actual completion of the level), to achieve "True Jedi" which is collection a certain amount of lego coins (of which there are many, so achieving True jedi is rarely a problem, though sometimes can be a little tedious), to collect all 10 canisters which make a Lego Mini-Kit model, which usually corresponds to the level played, to find the red power brick which enables you to buy upgrades extras such as Invincibility or Super Slap or whatever, and finally to collect the ten bonus canisters under 10 minutes. The last one is a new feature, which upon completion gives you a certain number of coins.

At the moment I'm at about 85% by the way. When you've bought all the characters they'll roam around the cantina, and attack them if you wish. Obviously Free Play has returned, which I should've mentioned earlier, which allows you to replay the level with any characters you want, so if you feel in the mood to have Anakin and Yoda fight the Emperor in Return of the Jedi you can. In fact, Free Play is essential if you want to find all the canisters and red power bricks.

In conclusion, if you don't have Lego Star Wars, but are into the Star Wars, then there's just no excuse for you not having it. It is truely a very enjoyable experience suitable for all ages. And if you're not into Star Wars, you should still get it, as it'll give you a taste of the forthcoming Lego: Indiana Jones and Lego: Batman. One would think that the developers are onto a winning franchise here. The Complete Saga is available on all seventh generation consoles.
Graphics: 10
Gameplay: 10
Sound: 9
Unlockables: 10
Longevity: 10
Multiplayer: 8

Overall: 9.8

Seriously...BUY IT!

~The Damo

The Arsenal of Megadeth

Just recently, I found out that Megadeth have released a massively huge new 4CD 1 DVD boxset entitled "Warchest" which is pretty much a compilation of all their best stuff (over 6 hours in fact, including 33 previously unreleased songs) aswell as a live CD and full live DVD. The boxset comes housed in unique "vac-u-form" package with a 36 page booklet containing photos, liner notes and full discography.

Though its a little unfortunate that I pretty much already have all their stuff and won't fork out €60+ to have it shipped over from America, it is regardless a very impressive compilation which would be the ideal purchase for anyone wanting to get into them. Rather cleverly they haven't included anything from United Abominations and very little from The System Has Failed, which I guess is a ploy to make you buy them both, which are arguably their best albums to date (and most recent).

Disc: 1
1. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!
2. The Skull Beneath The Skin
3. Peace Sells
4. Wake Up Dead
5. Devils Island
6. Set The World Afire
7. Into The Lungs Of Hell
8. Anarchy/Problems [session take]
9. Hook In Mouth
10. Liar
11. In My Darkest Hour
12. No More Mr. Nice Guy
13. “dark themes…”
14. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due [Casey McMackin demo]
15. Tornado Of Souls [demo]
16. Five Magics [demo]
17. Hangar 18

Disc: 2
1. “keeping score…”
2. Symphony Of Destruction
3. Go To Hell - "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" Soundtrack
4. Foreclosure Of A Dream
5. Architecture Of Aggression [demo]
6. Skin O’ My Teeth [live at Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI 5/23/92]
7. High Speed Dirt [live at Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI 5/23/92]
8. Ashes In Your Mouth [live at the Cow Palace, S.F., CA 12/4/92]
9. Sweating Bullets [live at the Cow Palace, S.F., CA 12/4/92]
10. Breakpoint [session take]
11. Angry Again
12. Train Of Consequences
13. Reckoning Day
14. New World Order
15. The Killing Road
16. Strange Ways
17. Paranoid
18. Diadems
19. A Tout Le Monde

Disc: 3
1. Trust
2. Almost Honest
3. Use The Man
4. She-Wolf
5. A Secret Place [live at Woodstock, NY 7/25/99]
6. One Thing
7. Duke Nukem
8. Insomnia
9. Crush ‘Em
10. Kill The King
11. Dread And The Fugitive Mind
12. Never Say Die
13. Moto Psycho
14. 1000 Times Goodbye
15. Coming Home
16. Kick The Chair
17. Of Mice And Men

Disc: 4
1. intro/Rattlehead
2. Wake Up Dead
3. Hangar 18
4. Hook In Mouth
5. The Skull Beneath The Skin
6. The Conjuring
7. In My Darkest Hour
8. Lucretia
9. Devils Island
10. Take No Prisoners
11. Peace Sells
12. Black Friday
13. It's Electric
14. Anarchy In The U.K.
15. Holy Wars… The Punishment

Disc: 5
1. Intro/Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
2. Wake Up Dead
3. Hangar 18
4. Lucretia
5. Sweating Bullets
6. In My Darkest Hour
7. Tornado Of Souls
8. Ashes In Your Mouth
9. Peace Sells
10. Anarchy In The U.K.

Hopefully they'll play the Ambassador again next year.....

~The Damo

If I Could Be A Superhero.....

...I would be Justice Guy!

Ok probably not, but just for the idea of the title watch this:

and this:

Unfortunately the sound quality is a bit naff, but it's decent enough.

Ok well really that has nothing to do with anything I wanted to say, as I came across this website about a week ago:

Which lets you make your own superhero in a rockin' style. It's not the most user friendly interface but after a while I got the hang of it and made this guy:

Can you guess who he is?

~The Damo

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - A Review

Earlier this year, I bought Call of Duty 3 for the PS3, the first Call of Duty game I'd ever bought, and I was simply blown away by the shear realism and intensity of the gameplay. It's no surprise then that when I heard COD 4 was on the way I was extremely excited. But not only that, COD4's developers decided to do something different. Rather than make yet another World War 2 shooter, they focused this game on 21st century warfare, and it impressed beyond all my expectations.

The game spans from the Middle East, to Chernobyl and even deep into the Motherland. The story is told mainly from the perspective of a British SAS trooper named "Soap" McTavish and for a portion of Act I it's told from the perspective of a US Marine Corp Sergeant Paul Jackson.

Rather than waffle on about the storyline, which is quite impressive for a FPS, I'll head straight into one of the game's feature stand points - its realism. All weapons in the game are based on real-life weapons, I could try to name them all but most have complex names with loads of letters and numbers in them that I'd probably make mistakes spelling them out and even more likely you wouldn't have a clue what I'm talking about. You can hold a maximum of two weapons, more often than not some kind of machine gun and a pistol sidearm, though there are weapons from all walks of life, including shotguns, sniper rifles, sub machine guns and missile launchers. This is one of the things that makes COD stand out from other FPS. You can only hold two weapons, which is about right for any kindof soldier, whereas the likes of Medal of Honour will allow you to hold 5 or 6 weapons. You're also armed with a knife for those sticky situations.

Speaking of those, one would think of a shooter game to be just shooting, but it's more than that. I tapped the faithful R3 button more times than I have fingers and toes to save my ass.

The AI in the game is superb, and adds 100% to the intensity of the gameplay. There's rarely a time when you can take a breather and give yourself a momentary lapse in concentration. Enemies come from everywhere, and when I first set foot in the Middle East setting of the game, I couldn't help but think that this was exactly what fighting in Iraq felt like. (In fact, there's one moment in the game when you see a statue of the fictional dictator collapse, much like the way a certain Iraqi dictators statue collapsed). Enemies will duck behind cover, throw grenades and even launch rockets at you. Speaking of cover, COD4's engine created a new type of cover system. In previous games of this genre and even those from other genres, simply hiding behind a chair would be enough to protect you. Not here though, wood, thin plaster walls, PVC pipes are all porous to bullets, meaning you'd want to be in some pretty good cover to protect yourself.

The game also incorporated a kindof hidden catch in the gameplay. In most of the Middle Eastern fighting, you and your comrades will be fighting through the streets with militia firing all round. You can pick them off alright, only to find that they'll be replaced shortly by someone else, all day long, but if you don't physically push forward yourself (as in YOU controlling your character) then they won't go away, so the game forces you to take an active role in the gameplay shooting.

Now enemies are armed with all kinds of weapons, but they have in their arsenal one of the most powerful weapons of war at their disposal. No its not RPG's, its attack dogs! I cannot tell you how many times I was killed by a bleeding dog! They are on you so quickly that only a timely tap of the R1 button to shoot your rifle or a punch of the R3 knife slash will get them off. Once they're on you, you're dead, end of story. It's probably also an appropriate time now to mention the health system. In COD, you don't have "health" persay. When you get hit a certain number of times (and that number of times is proportional to the level of difficulty) a red blur surrounds the screen indicating that you should get into cover. If you don't, you're dead. This red blur doesn't show up if you are bitten by an attack dog, blown up by a grenade or killed by a knife, you're just simply dead!

All that said and done, COD4 is a must for PC, PS3 or Xbox owners, the multiplayer will have you coming back for more because as we all know, human intelligence is always better than AI.

Graphics: 10
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 10
Longevity: 8
Unlockables: 8
Multiplayer: 10

Overall: 9.5

~The Damo

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Warhammer Armies: High Elves - A Review

A few weeks ago, the eagerly anticipated High Elves 7th Edition hit the GW shelves....except for me where it hit my letterbox a few days before it hit the shelves. Nevertheless, whether it hit the shelves, your letterbox, the door or any other part of a building that involves postage delivery, the HE book did not disappoint.

Rumours that HE would be the next armybook released after the Empire were afloat as early as January this year. Had the expansion Mighty Empires not been released we'd likely have seen the HE hitting the shelves back in June. Regardless, it was worth the wait. The book comes in at a whopping 104 pages, the largest army book in both ranges. It's not only filled with the standard army list and painting guides, it also boasts a huge background section, detailing the tales of the Elves from the first Phoenix King Aenarion, right up to the present day Finubar aswell as describing the heroics of the previously minatureless Alith Anar and the revival of the 5th Edition character Eltharion the Grim.

Whether you're a Warhammer buff or not, if you're a fantasy fan this book is certainly worth the read, if only for the history section. I would even suggest that the Warhammer world is a "more truthful" fantasy than LoTR could ever be. The distinction between High Elves, Wood Elves and Dark Elves is made more clearer than ever in this edition, both in the history and the armylist. The fabled "War of the Beard" (the war between the High Elves and Dwarfs) takes a minor role in this edition, and instead, the authors put more emphasis on the continued fighting between the High Elves and their bitter cousins the Dark Elves.

Keeping in mind that Warhammer is a game the developers went about pressing home the ruleset of the HE, truly making them a distinct army and yet keeping them faithful to the background. The first key area this arises in is the controversial Speed of Asuryan rule, which grants every HE unit the "Always Strikes First" special rule. This basically renders the advantage of an opposing army making the charge against the HE useless, as they will strike first against you anyway. The best visual analysis to justify the idea comes from the opening scene of the Fellowship of the Ring. True the HE in the LoTR are nothing like the ones of the Warhammer world, but the idea of the High Elves being an elite exceptionally trained martial force is pressed home time and time again in the background, and the developers justifiably incorporated this into the rules. This was further boosted by the HE being allowed to take 0-6 Special choices at 2000 points, aswell as moving White Lions, Silver Helms and Phoenix Guard to special choices aswell.

Despite Speed of Asuryan, the famous HE units also received upgrades. Swordmasters and Dragon Princes now have 2 attacks, White Lions have heavy armour, Phoenix Guard have a 4+ Ward save and Shadow Warriors have WS5. However, to balance this out most units rose in points cost, and Itihilmar barding was lost from the wargear completely.

Aswell as the upgrades, the HE received new units in the form of the Dragon Mages and Lion Chariot. Like the idea of the "elite army", Dragons played a key role in the history of the HE, and the developers introduced dragons back into the list. Both Princes and Archmages can now ride dragons for instance. The Lion Chariot is arguably the most original thing GW has ever done. Rather than have the classical chariot pulled by horses, they thought "Hey, let's do something different". The result was a chariot being pulled by white lions, and yes there is a connection to the White Lions mentioned for people unfamiliar to the game.

If I had to find one disappointment in the book it would be the inclusion of Eltharion the Grim. In 6th Edition, Eltharions rules had been rewritten as Eltharion the Swordmaster, who's background and history had been developed following the transition from 5th to 6th Edition. This character was far more interesting and to use the improper adjective: "more characterful". It was disappointing to see GW wipe his 6th Edition incarnation off the map, and forever lock him in history as Eltharion the Grim.

The range can be found here:

Truely GW have outdone themselves with this latest edition of the HE, and one would hope that the standard will be maintained for future releases next year and thereafter.

~The Damo

Top Ten Movie Fight Scenes!

I'll admit that I'm far from the greatest film connoisseur there is, in fact I'm probably the farthest thing from one and if you're looking for anything film related, then Catherine's blog is probably the place to be.

However, that being said, I enjoy my films. And who doesn't right? So I thought that for this Top 10, I'd do my favourite fight scenes. These aren't necessarily "The Greatest of All Time", hence why I averted to leave that out of the title of the blog.

These are my favourites, whether they're the ones I laughed at most or just really enjoyed cause they kicked ass!

So here we go:

10. Indiana Jones Vs Arabian Swordsman (from Raiders of the Lost Ark)

9. Maximus Vs Stupid Ass Gladiators (from Gladiator)

8. Happy Gilmore Vs Bob Barker (from Happy Gilmore)

7. King Leonidas Vs Persian Army (from 300)

6. Channel 4 Vs Channel 9 Vs Channel 2 Vs Public News Vs Spanish Language News (from Anchorman)

5. Rocky Balboa Vs Ivan Drago (from Rocky IV)

4. Beatrix Kiddo Vs Elle Driver (from Kill Bill: Volume 2)

3. Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs Darth Maul (from Star Wars: Episode 1)

2. Neo Vs The Smiths (from The Matrix Reloaded)

1. Yu Shu Lien Vs Jen Yu (from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)

Running the Marathon in two years time with KT!

~The Damo

Thursday 22 November 2007

AVGN - Dragon's Lair

Afternoon all, the Nerd returns from a short break with a video as requested by all his fans of 'Dragon's Lair' on the NES, possibly the worst game ever made for the system. Seriously...that's not cause the Nerd is reviewing it!

Anyway, I also completed Call of Duty 4 and the review is on the way as well as some comments about Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga on PS3.


Oh...and England were knocked out!!! Not that I can talk since Ireland were crap, but it's moments like last night that just make the week!

~The Damo

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Blog Update

Apologies to all my fans but I've had much on my hands of late, be it college, football coaching, first aid, painting, etc and as such I haven't had much time to blog up here.

In news: my Warhammer Spearhead box set arrived with the glorious new High Elves book which I will discuss up here in the near future. My team remain unbeaten in the league with 5 out of 5 wins. Should you like to go see our home games in Beechfield Park let me know and I'll give you the details! Maria's birthday is coming up soon and I plan to lavish her with gifts, my sights are set on Diego's Adventure Base. (Yes it's a girls toy despite the boyish phrase "Adventure Base" in the name). In the John's the adult course has started and as soon as that is finished Paul has me set in line for an EMFR course!!!

In college....well nothing's really happened.


In short I thought I'd give you an idea of what's coming up:

  • The next issue of Grinds My Gears, delving in the vile world of the British Media
  • Warhammer Armies: High Elves - A review
  • Call of Duty 4 - a soon as I buy it
  • Top Movie Fight of All Time

That's all I think.

Don't forget to read the first Awesome Award blog below!!!!!

~The Damo

The First Awesome Award!!!!

Not being a particularly "awesome" person myself, in fact I've never been told I'm the "A" word...though I have been called other "A" words before, I thought that in my trend of doing blogs in series like GMG, Greatest of All Time and Top Ten's, I figured I'd start yet another series entitled "The Awesome Awards".

Just because I'm not deemed "awesome", it doesn't imply that I don't have a lot of awesome to give out. So, for the first award, I'm going to give this one to one of the most awesome people I know.

And the Awesome Award goes to....
Some of you know her, some of you don't. I wish I could lie and say that this person is so mysterious that if I actually told you her name I'd have to kill you and ergo I would have to kill myself because I wouldn't be allowed to know her name either BUT.....

The opposite is true. At least to me this person is far from mysterious, though I do question some of her quirks like the milk ordeal and the likes. But such a petty quirk fails to diminish the sheer awesomeness of this person! I should probably also mention at this point her incredible super powers aswell. Only recently did I send a text "Hey, are you coming online today?" and within a millisecond she was there online saying "Hello". As far as I see it this is either one of two superpowers: (1) Gift of foresight; that I was going to text or (2) Super Speed; receiving the text, turning on the computer and signing in all in a microsecond.

There's plenty of other things I can say about this lady, she's; charismatic, affectionate, tender, honest, exciting, respected, elegant, intelligent, nice and enamored. Whenever your in trouble, she'll be there - like Dangermouse, power house...he's the fastest he's the strongest he's the best!! Sorry, got sidetracked.....

She'll always listen to you whenever you want to say something, even if its the biggest piece of bullshit you've ever spewn out of your mouth in your life, which she usually responds with a "OOOOooooook" or a ":)". What more could you ask for from such an awesome gal?

Well she does have more! Whether it's an interesting story, or a slice of gossip, or maybe an enlightening film review she never fails to have something to say that will captivate you and further tip the awesome gauge that runs in everyones heads. Coming with this girl the package includes an expansive music taste which puts you and I and the rest of the world to shame, an incredible music talent that rivals the greats, an intellect sophisticated beyond its years leaving you enlightened and happy, a sense of humour only bettered by the great Clive Anderson, a personality that would woo in the most dashing of all Prince Charmings and a smile that could make you melt....if you were an ice cream ;)

You know who you are!

~The Damo

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Lack of Posts....

Apologies to readers but I'm currently swamped with college work and study and hence have been unable to spend time writing anything decent up here.

In the meantime, enjoy this beginners guide to identify people by what they drink:


A recent magazine survey, interviewed fifty bartenders and they were asked if they could identify a customer’s personality on what drinks they ordered?

Although interviewed separately, they concurred on almost all counts.

The results:

If Women Drink ...


Personality: Casual, low maintenance; down to earth.

Approach: Challenge her to a game of pool.

Cocktails or Blender drinks with umbrella

Personality: Flaky, annoying, dizzy, and a pain in the ass.

Approach: Avoid her, unless you want to be her cabin boy.

Mixed drinks - no umbrellas e.g.; Gin and tonic / Scotch and soda

Personality: Mature, has picky taste; knows what she wants

Approach: If she wants you, she’ll send YOU a drink.


Personality: Pretentious and is looking for a serious relationship.

Approach: Don’t.

Wine - (bottled, not 4 litre cask)

Personality: Conservative and classy, sophisticated.

Approach: Try and weave Paris and clothing into the conversation.

Bacardi Breezer, Red Square, Archers Cooler, Smirnoff Ice, Mudshake etc.

Personality: Easy; thinks she is trendy and sophisticated actually has no clue.

Approach: Make her feel smarter than she is... and you’re in.

Cape Velvet

Personality: Annoying voice, bit of a tart.

Approach: Stand close and mention the alley next to the pub.

Shots and Slammers (Tequila, Vodka, Aftershock etc.)

Personality: Hangs around with male work pals or looking to get drunk...and naked.

Approach: Easiest hit in the pub, Nothing to do but wait.......

IF MEN DRINK... (As always, very simple and clear cut.)


He’s probably under-aged and wants to get laid.

Cheap Domestic Beer

He’s poor / student and wants to get laid.

Castle Lager Beer

He likes good beer and wants to get laid.

Imported Beer

He’s old; he likes good beer and wants to get laid.


The man is a rapist and will get laid one way or another.


He just threw up and is trying to wash the taste out of his mouth so that he can still get laid


He’s hoping that the wine thing will give him a sophisticated image and help him get laid.

Vodka or Brandy

Extremely horny hound, would shag a warm scarf. Desperate to get laid.


Thinks he’s sophisticated, secretly likes men and wants to get laid.


He doesn’t give two $hits about anything and will hit anyone who will get in his way of getting laid.

Jack Daniels

Not as masculine as the whisky drinker, knows all about feminine activities (knitting, crochet etc.) to weasel himself into getting laid.

Rum or Tequila

Likes fighting almost as much as getting laid.

Bacardi Breezer, Red Square, Archers Cooler, Smirnoff Ice, etc

He’s gay (blatantly) - don’t turn your back or pick up any dropped change.

Its true!!!

~The Damo

Wednesday 31 October 2007

AVGN - Halloween

The follow up to the awful Texas Chainsaw Massacre view. Can the Nerd restore our faith in him with this next video???

Well in brief the game sucks, though some of the post review stuff is good like the arguing with the two kids at his door: "What's an Atari?". Though I'm slightly worried that he said "Fuck" infront of those children....

We get some bonus reviews too...

I feel the Rising Force!!!

Wednesday 24 October 2007

The Trials and Tribulations......

....of riding the bus!

Yes folks, this has been lying under my skin for some time now and I feel I must address the issue. You will recall my "Grinds My Gears!! - Issue 3":

"This isn't so much a gripe at the company, it's more the people than anything else. What particularly annoys me is when people, with money, queue in the ticket line, and hold up everyone in the ticket line who actually has a ticket. That's part of the point of the ticket, so you can get on faster. It's invisible to the naked eye as they conceal their change in their hands, just as easily as one could conceal a ticket, and suddenly, when you're the guy behind them, they stop moving and you realise that they are waiting for a break in the other goddamn queue!!!

Another thing that I need to address is people with headphones. Now I use headphones on the bus aswell, but what I'm on about is those who have the volume up to the max, so you can hear what they are listening to and should they sit beside you, the only way you can indicate that you want to get off is by lifting your bag up off the floor and leaning to one side. God help those who have no bag!!!

That's another thing...bags! I carry one, sometimes two bags, depending on the day, with me on the bus. Should I be sitting down I'll rest one on my knees, the other at my feet, not like some who take up the whole seat with their bags or their change purses. Last week for instance, a woman got on with what could only be a full weeks shopping and casually occupied the whole side row on the left near the front of the bus (this was one of the older buses with two doors). Like what the fuck? That's what the baggage hold is for!

One more thing has got to be people that brings unfolded buggies onto the bus when the bus is already crammed with people like a tin of sardines. This has only become an issue since the 'buggy/wheelchair' space was introduced. Before that people had no problem folding up the buggy. But not now. By leaving the buggy open, they use up a significant portion of quality standing space. If they only folded it, and put it on the luggage rack, I'm sure someone would quite happily give up their seat for the mother/father with the child.

All of these issues depend greatly on what bus route you get and where you get it from. If you want to experience any of these problems just get one of the Lucan buses from Westmoreland Street, or if you want to experience all of these problems, try (and I mean TRY!) to get the 25A from Heuston Station."

Further issues have come to my attention since that post. For instance, have you ever gotten the bus in the morning. I mean the early morning, sunrise almost? Well I do, 3 out of 5 days in the week in fact, and what is common about all mornings? They're cold! And what are the buses like when you get on? Roasting!!!!!!! Yes we would all say that the inital transition from "freezing my balls off" cold to a nice warmth is appreciated, but this sensation is temporarily relieving at best. No sooner than you are on the bus the heat will begin to swelter. Not helped by the fact that the bus is crammed full, people standing like sardines in a tin. And do you think someone would open a window. Of course not, it's too embarrassing to open a window! The result being that the windows on the bus fog up, there's the repetitive wiping of sweat off foreheads with already sweat-drenched sleeves and tissues and people just get agitated!

A follow-up to the over crowding on buses is conversation. Fact: people are nosey. Fact: people will listen to what you have to say. Fact: having a conversation on the bus is one of the worst things you can do! It's perfectly fine to chat when the bus is sparsely full, when there's a gap of a least one empty seat between yourself and the person sitting beside you who you're talking to and the next nearest person on the bus. However, when the bus is crammed like it can be in the mornings and evenings, conversation is impossible. Once myself and a friend were making a joke about something, and the person behind laughed!!! One of the trickiest things is with earphones, people can pretend to have them on and innocent conversationalists will sit beside them thinking they can't hear what they're saying. BEWARE of these people. The same goes for talking on the phone, but it's made worse by the fact that you can't whisper because in my experience the only people who ring me whilst I'm on the bus are lacking in the acute hearing department. Talking whilst standing is worse, as more often that not there will be people literally standing either in your face or in between the person you are trying to talk to, this is irritating for both communicating parties involved.

As you can see from the previous post, I mentioned the issue of buggies. In recent weeks, I've been privy to the driver letting more than one buggy onto the bus. As I said, one buggy is bad enough, depriving us more unfortunate standing passengers to stand in a more comfortable and resulting less blocking and less getting-in-the-way-of-people-trying-to-get-off-the-bus-area. The thing is, that area is designed to function for only one! So when two are let on what happens?? The buggies have to be turned sideways meaning that they are now protruding onto the gangway thus further pissing off standing passengers.

This brings me onto the overcrowding situation on buses. Anyone who has travelled on buses during rush hours know what I'm talking about. There's a line between packed (but comfortably packed where people have adequate standing space and can still access the exit within reason) and then PACKED, spelt with a capital please-get-your-hands-off-my-ass. And that's just the problem. When the bus is literally that packed, it leaves you in very uncomfortable and somewhat embarrassing situations. It is impossible for you to keep both your hands off someone when they are packed into your sides. On several occasions I've had women's breasts literally squeezed into my back or chest just so they can get out of the way to let someone behind them out (not that I'm complaining for my sake, more for theirs), or more often than not I find my genitals crushed against the railings as I pray to high heaven that everyone will get off at Liffey Valley. In fairness some bus drivers will recognise the discomfort of their passengers and will either not stop or let people out after or before the stop they want to get off.

This brings me onto the issue of correct standing procedures:

Appropriate Standing Areas are:
  • The buggy/wheelchair zone

Oh wait...that's it!!!! Unless the bus is crammed full you should never stand anywhere else other than the buggy zone. Only today getting on the 46A did one woman get on, and then decided to stand right at the baggage railings, making it inconvenient for all incoming passengers. Furthermore, you should never stand past the back railing of the buggy zone, people need to be able to get out of their seats to get off. And stay the hell off the stairs, it gives the driver the illusion that he can fit more people on than he can, and then when people from upstairs try to get off they have to wait for all the maggots from the stairs to squeeze into any crevices that exist down below just so the people from upstairs can get off. They really need to install some kindof inflatable slide or roof accessed escape ladder in those situation.

Finally, I'd like to address the issue of student tickets. Recently I was threatened with a fine for not possessing adequate student ID when using a Student Rambler Ticket, in other words, Dublin Bus will only accept Student ID from themselves which costs money, because other colleges and Third Level Institutes cards are invalid. I cannot understand why they need to be so anal about it. Surely student ID is adequate enough to prove that you are in fact A STUDENT!

I'm lead to believe that travelling on the Luas can be equally as dangerous and life threatening, so if I could be given some insight into this I'd appreciate it. I'm also aware that chivalry on the Luas seems to be lacking somewhat more so than on the bus. LET A PREGNANT OR ELDERLY PERSON SIT THE FUCK DOWN PLEASE!!!!

Oh, and don't forget the breast feeding story:

" Wolfy - "You know what really grinds my gears (thanx damo, lol) Breast feeding in public. It's just not right. If i got half naked in public I think a few people would have a problem with it. So far I've heard maybe one or two really shit points in favour of it. First: "But it's a beautiful thing." Hell i agree with that one. It is a beautiful thing, but I don't wanna see a fuckin baby attached to it. Second: "But it's natural" Yeah so is taking a shit but I don't think I'd be allowed to drop my cacks in the middle of a shopping centre and take a dump. Erm that's all I got right now. But you get the point. It's just not on."

In my case, I was sitting on the inside seat on the left hand side facing the forward direction of the bus. Two Eastern European women got on and one sat beside me, the other in front of me. Both were carrying young children. At a particular point the child beside me started crying, and what did the mother do to shut him up??? She plopped out here left breast (the one nearest me of course) and started feeding the child. She didn't even try to conceal it through her jacket, instead right out in front of me. To make matters worse the woman in front seemed to think it was feeding time aswell! No doubt the person beside her felt just as uncomfortable as I did. The icing on the cake was that my stop was coming up in a few minutes!! I kept thinking about how I was going to get her to move. But thankfully the child had enough just in time and I was able to escape."

~The Damo

Saturday 20 October 2007

Lightning Strikes Twice

Rumour has it that lightning never strikes twice because Chuck Norris is looking for it, and Chuck Norris always finds what he's looking for the second time. I guess now lightning must indeed be destroyed forever, as lightning struck twice in Croke Park on Wednesday.....

Those of you who remember the blog I wrote about our underfiring team will know that I didn't hold them in very high regard, and after Wednesday I am positively and totally flabbergasted by Wednesday's display. We were promised a better performance on all fronts after the last time we met Cyprus in that Game-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. Sadly, the package wasn't delivered.

After the draw against Germany the previous Saturday, I was moderately optimistic that we would win at the very least. This opinion soon changed 10mins after kick off. Never before have I been at any match that was so boring. Really, one would think that any sporting competition would be exciting to watch, regardless, but words cannot describe how bad this game was. No conviction, no effort, no motivation, nothing. Pathetic is one word which could describe the display on show. The bloody band that was playing down at the bottom of the stands behind the goal could not have been more annoying. I myself like to enjoy a match in a kindof silent anxiousness, though I would regularly contribute to any anthem that the crowd started singing. But this band doesn't shut up, you have no time to think or nothing as they try to get "Stand Up for the Boys in Green" going. And rest assured there was no hope in hell that we were going to stand up for the boys with the way they were playing, and thankfully the whole crowd seemed to agree as none of their melodies got going!

There's two times when a Mexican Wave should get going in a match, when you're winning, and when it's boring. On Saturday, we weren't winning, and on Wednesday the crowd wasn't even in the mood. Half time was a sigh of relief with the 6-a-side youth game across the pitch. Believe or believe it not that was more interesting.

The second half was no better than the first and matters only got worse once Cyprus scored. Loads of people left at this point, and I was on the verge of leaving just as Ireland scored their undeserved equaliser.

In hindsight, it would have been better that we lost, as then there was no excuse to keep Stan the Man in the job. Some of his decisions on positions and substitutions boggle my mind, and why Robbie Keane is still captain of the squad is beyond me. I would gladly recommend Richard Dunne for the captaincy anyday, and if Robbie was a real captain he'd stand up and admit he's not good enough. What we need is a foreign manager who will come in with no bias for any players and will get down to business. Not to mention someone who has been a manager before!

As it looks the FAI have finally copped on and realise their mistake with Stan. But who can replace him? And what can we do about our rag-a-muffin players who don't look like they're arsed. From what I can see, Stan has let down two keys players: Given and Finnan, and both O'Shea and Keane have let Stan down.

It's some relief that I don't have to watch them play now for nearly another year, and I can safely say that there is no hope of me watching the game in Cardiff next month. A big question though is who would want to manage Ireland given the current shambles of players? Odds on favourite is David O'Leary, which I'm not overly impressed with but can't be any worse than Stan. Paul Jewell is another candidate who could do great things. Or even better Jose Mourinho.....but let's not get our hopes up......

Come on Poland!!!! They are our second national team afterall....

~The Damo

Thursday 18 October 2007

Top 10 Games Coming Soon!!

With so many hot releases on the way over the next six months, I thought I'd write up a brief summary of the Top 10 games you should be looking into on the 3 main consoles!

10. Half Life 2: The Orange Box

Whilst the PS3 wasn't around for the initial forray of Half Life titles and expansions, Sony now have on the way the entire Half Life back catalog all on one glorious Blu-Ray disc!!! JOYGASM!!! Oh yeah and Microsoft has it too....but what's the point when they've had to buy each one seperate up till now?

9. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Who ever thought Lego and Star Wars would be such a success? The Complete Saga combines both the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy games into one, expanding the gameplay in the Prequel game aswell as adding tonnes of new characters! With them comes new improved graphics with a shinier gloss and Indiana Jones as a secret promotional character for Lego: Indiana Jones.
8. Mario Kart Wii

*edit: there WAS a picture for this but it won't load anymore and I'm not arsed to look for another!*
What could be better than playing Mario Kart on the old Nintendo 64??? Why playing a whole new Mario Kart on the Wii with a new specially designed steering wheel of course!!!! Vrooooooooooommmmmmmm!

7. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Lucasarts have created a brand spanking new phyiscs engine for the most revolutionary Star Wars game to date. Players will control Darth Vader's secret apprentice and fight on planets all over the galaxy utilising the force in ways only previously dreampt of by gamers.....let me see, I'll pick up that stormtrooper there and fling him into the other one at the side of the ledge...then pick them both up and crush their skulls......

6. Smackdown Vs Raw 2008

Although I had left the wrestling fanbase for a few years, my welcoming return was gifted with the chance to play SVsR 2007, and what a game it was. With 2008, the game expands and updates the rosters of both Smackdown and Raw as well as ECW for the first time ever. With even more new features and enhanced gameplay, and exclusive content for both the PS3 and Xbox360, WWE look like they're about to deliver another big one to the gaming world!

5. Haze
Set to be Playstation's answer to the incredible Halo 3 online gameplay, Haze looks to be all that it promises in a futuristic Earth governed by PMC's with fast paced gameplay and a multitude of online gameplay modes and features.

4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Quoted as the best game to buy after Halo3, COD developers took the age old World War 2 first person shooter and decided to do something totally different. A MODERN war, more accurately set in the Middle East. With the reams of WWII games out there, practically every aspect of the conflict has been covered and it is a breath of fresh air to finally play something different with a whole arsenal of modern (and realistic) weaponry!

3. Super Mario Galaxy

Coming soon to the Wii, Galaxy has been cited by the top guns at Nintendo to be a worthy sequel to Super Mario 64! With hugely inventive level design and creative gameplay, Nintendo once again looks set to deliver a lasting classic!

2. Grand Theft Auto 4

What could be better than a next generation console version of the worlds favourite 18's violent crime game? Set in Liberty City once again and with a hole heap of new controls abilities and elements of realism only better by the MGS Series, GTAIV is poised to set new free-roam gaming standards for years to come!
1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Those of you keeping with my blog are surely aware of all the posts I've made about this game, so you can look back on them for videos and stuff. This is set to be the game of all games ever since video games were first created like Pong. Seriously, if there was an award ceremony like the Oscars for games....this would win them all. What's better...oh yeah, there's a demo on the way before Christmas...and once again...its PLAYSTATION ONLY!!!!!!!
In fact, here's the HD Gameplay Video, take a looksie!

~The Damo

Thursday 11 October 2007

Holy Wars......

Some time ago, Mr. Conway revealed the startling news to me that the Megadeth song "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" actually relates to the Troubles in Northern Ireland!! I had always assumed it dealt with the Middle-East!

Turns out I was wrong. The song was inspired after Megadeth performed both in Dublin and in Belfast. In Dublin, Dave Mustaine made a remark about a united Ireland, and the crowd went wild, the mistake however was to mention the same idea in the North. The end result was the band being escorted away in armoured vehicles amongst incredible violence.

Here's the lyrics for you to examine. Anything in italics is my interpretation of the line, though not all of them:

Holy Wars...The Punishment Due

Brother will kill brother (This line being obvious)
Spilling blood across the land
Killing for religion (Again, quite obvious)
Something I don't understand (Dave, being an American, didn't have to face Religious conflicts like the North in the States in any regard!)

Fools like me, who cross the sea (Possibly a reference to his foolish suggestion of a United Ireland, the cross the sea being his American heritage)
And come to foreign lands
Ask the sheep, for their beliefs
Do you kill on God's command? (Again the idea of fighting each other over a religion, each side claiming to be in the right)

A country that's divided (The North's mix of both Catholics and Protestants)
Surely will not stand (How such a divide could actually function as a society)
My past erased, no more disgrace
No foolish naive stand (Mustaine admitting that he is now fully aware of the situation, regretting his previous comments)
The end is near, it's crystal clear
Part of the master plan
Don't look now to Israel
It might be in your homelands (The explanation that he isn't talking about the Middle-East, it's another holy war)

Holy wars......

Upon my podium, as the
Know it all scholar
Down in my seat of judgement
Gavel's bang, uphold the law
Up on my soapbox, a leader
Out to change the world
Down in my pulpit as the holier
Than-thou-could-be-messenger of God (This whole thing could be him talking about himself on stage at the shows talking about the United Ireland, as the messenger of God, that God wants peace in this conflict. The "Know it all Scholar" is likely sarcasm. "Out to Change the World" being an obvious indication of an attempt to resolve the fighting)

Wage the war on organized crime
Sneak attacks, repel down the rocks
Behind the lines (These three lines describing the type of warfare)
Some people risk to employ me
Some people live to destroy me
Either way they die. (This could be suggesting that Republicans "employ" him because the idea of United Ireland appealed to them, the latter being Unionists who sought to kill him)

They killed my wife, and my baby
With hopes to enslave me (Could be a suggestion that as further atrocities affect families, the victims are then dragged into the conflict)
First mistake...last mistake!
Paid by the alliance, to slay all the giants
Next more mistakes!

Fill the cracks in, with judicial granite
Because I don't say it, don't mean I ain't thinking it
Next thing you know, they'll take my thoughts away
I know what I said, now I must scream of the overdose
And the lack of mercy killings.

The song makes so much more sense now....

~The Damo

Grinds My Gears!! - Issue 12

The results of the poll are in and the Leaving Cert takes the 1st place just ahead of a certain someone for the point of interest of this the latest issue of GMG.

Ah the Leaving Cert. The bane of secondary school boys and girls everywhere....unless you dropped out of course. Every civilised nation in the world has some form of 2nd level education exam, and by right they should have it, but there's several things about our hallowed Leaving Cert that pains and pisses off so many young people in Ireland.

Having gone through the whole process and now having sat an array of college exams, I can confirm what many teachers say and that is "YES, The Leaving Cert is most definitely the most stressful and painful examination experience you will ever face!"...for real.

Generally speaking the idea that you do 7 or 8 subjects and you're overall points is calculated from your top 6 is a good one, as is the idea that you earn points for which course you apply to go on, because we all know that the points system - whilst very challenging and stressful - is in fact the fairest way to allocate places. It's anonymous, represents you're academic ability and eliminates any nepotism or alteration of marks and results.

The problem however is that you have to do 7 or 8 subjects!! Take England for example. In the A-Levels, you study 4 subjects (for the equivalent of 5th year) and then drop 1 to mean you are examined in a grand total of 3 subjects in final year (though you may continue the 4th if you wish). Not only that, but to achieve an A Grade, you just need to pass the A Grade Paper! If you want a B, pass the B Grade Paper and so on. So the Highest score someone could get in the A Levels would be A-A-A-A.

The workload of 7 subjects is incredible, especially should you get to college and see that 6 subjects is far more managable. I could go into 8 subjects but really, you don't want to know what that's like!!!! Not only that, but the exam levels are unreal. There is NO comparison between higher and ordinary level in ANY regard. Yes the points of obtained represent this but it means that ordinary level is mostly opted for because it is the easy way out and students who are too lazy to make the effort at Higher Level just drop, not necessarily because they are genuinely finding it difficult, though that does actually happen. There are far too many courses which are concerned only on getting the points and not caring about how you obtained the points. Thankfully, I can say that Engineering DOES in fact require Higher Level Maths, why, because you need a good work ethic to be an engineer and higher level maths is a true test of work ethic.

There was a time when Ordinary Level was only allowed for students with an actual mental disability, and Higher Level was mandatory for everyone else.

Like I said, most courses don't care how you got the points, and I feel this is an unfair representation of someones ability. For example, if you want to do an Engineering course anywhere, you should (along with the 3 core subjects) have to do 4 of the following: Physics, Chemistry, Applied Maths, Technology, Tech Drawing or the self-entitled course Engineering.

Why? Because these are the essentials of Engineering and hence have you well prepared for whichever college course you undertake. Getting there by doing Home Ec, any of the Business subjects or History and Geography isn't a just method. I'm not saying that those subjects are easy under any regard but you get the idea. If you want to do arts then do History, Geography etc, there's no value in you doing one of the sciences!

The fact that we have 7 subjects also introduces another problem. It allows students to "lie back" on one of the subjects, i.e. not bother working at it. I've heard this too many times and on an equal number of times I've seen those same students face the realistation that one of the subjects they were "banking on" didn't go as planned, and so instead of having 6 really strong subjects with 1 left to the side, they are left with 5 subjects and 2 that look bad. And it could be worse, no one knows what way the papers will go on the day! How do we solve this problem, do we drop the maximum number of subjects to 6, thus allowing the students to focus directly on the task at hand and then also free up their timetable for more classes or more study periods? It would certainly reduce the workload, thus allowing more study time and less stress.

Speaking once more of stress, the actual exam days are a nightmare. Now I'm not talking about whether you've adequately prepared or not, I'm talking about the physical strain on both body and mind. 7 and a half hours of English (of all things) on Day 1 is too much. And it means that you spend more time preparing for English than you do for Maths and Irish on the following days. Thankfully the Minister has said that English will now be sat a month before the actual Leaving Cert exams, but what's the result of that? That teachers now have to finish the course earlier in preparation for that earlier exam!

All said and done, once you've finished you'll never have to experience the likes again, but serious change needs to be undertaken to reduce the temporary mental and physical damage this unloads onto people!

~The Damo

Wednesday 10 October 2007

AVGN - Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Nerd returns with a look at a game that will make you want to gut yourself with a chainsaw. Its opening is a little different from previous vids (as is the rest of it), you'll have to watch it to see what I mean....


Texas Chainsaw Massacre:

His cause of death.....High Speed on Burnt Ice!!!!

~The Damo

Postulations - Nerds √16 Ever????

I did mention in a previous post that this would be one of my typical postulations which can boggle the mind, but in actual fact, it's much more simple.

"Why do we call things what we do????"

Really, when you think about it, why do we call certain every day things what we call them.....

  1. An Orange - how can orange be a colour, fruit, smell and taste. Should a banana not be called a yellow or a pear a green???

  2. Apartments - how can they be called that when they're stuck together!

  3. Driveway - when we PARK our cars there!

  4. A Watch - you don't WATCH a watch, you LOOK at it, so it should really be called a look!

  5. Magazine - how could it mean something you read and something that holds bullets!

  6. Mankind - firstly we're not all men, and secondly, we're not all kind!

  7. Tank - the military doesn't hold anything!

  8. Boot of a car - you certainly don't kick it and it can hold more than just boots

  9. B***J*b - when you don't blow at all!

  10. Ass - what's wrong with donkey!

  11. Punch - I can't imagine how you justify a drink being called that

There's likely more, please add to the list!

Like really, when you actually think about it, who gives names for things. How the hell did some word originate. When they thought up Google, did they think to call the website Goggle but instead some dope spelt it wrong and came up with Google, and by the time the site was up and running they just said "Fuck It". Tennis doesn't have anything to do with the number 10 in any way shape or form, scores are in 15's and sets never reach double figures! How did the word "boob" come to stand for breast, how did the word "joke" come about, was it like google where an accident occured where somebody said "He said some joke" when they actually meant to say "He said some yoke".

I could easily make up words for anything, like "Frolo", a game of polo played on skateboards using french baguettes!

Someone, somewhere, came up with each and every word that graces the English language. I was actually amused by the story which tells the origins of the word "Fuck". In World War One, the German planes were called Fökker's, where the "ö" is prounounced as a "u" and the British and French troops would shout "Here come the Fökkers!!".

That's not to say that words in the English language don't have meaning or anything, I'm just trying to illustrate some of those things which boggle my mind!

If the tone of this blog is a little strange please understand that I actually started writing it very late a few nights ago and only now am realising how stupid some of it actually is!

~The Damo

Sunday 7 October 2007

First Real Design

It's amazing where inspiration can come from....

If it wasn't for a can of Pepsi sitting on the desk in front of me I'd likely never have gotten this idea for a building. The simple shape of the cylinder provides the basis of this structure. As you can see from the picture below, I toyed around with the cylindrical shape for some time. I always had in my mind that it would be 4 buildings, but initially I figured they'd all be the same size.
*You're looking at the sketches on the left, that other crap on the right is just history of architecture*

Eventually I got the idea to vary the height, initially evenly, before I decided on 4 different heights. I was also playing with the idea of having some kindof of focal point at the very top, like a sphere or something, but as the design evolved this looked both stupid and unfeasable. So instead, I moved the sphere down to the very bottom, and acts as a focal point for the base. I would imagine it could be some kindof glass globe or something.

After thinking about it for a while, I felt that the upright linear verticality of the buildings looked rather plain, so I started to remove conical wedges from each one as shown.

At the moment I currently have an AutoCAD template of the basic wire frame. I'm having trouble rendering the image at the moment.

I just figured I'd put this out there for the moment. Obviously I've a lot more elaboration to do like whether it'll all be suited for commercial use, or some residential or base itself on the new Hyper-City designs.
Either way, expect more to come as I develop the idea further.

~The Damo

Friday 5 October 2007

Oh Those Dreary Days

The struggle to coach 12 hyper 12 year olds on Wednesday and the stress of taking home a little sister and a younger brother on the bus home yesterday has left me somewhat worse for the wear. Barely able to speak (I can manage the odd croak) and a bleedin' cold have me down in the dumps. Not even the great news from earlier in the week could pick me up now.

First class today - Fluid Mechanics....boooooorrrrrring as ever. I wanted to do some last minute revision for my Environmental Engineering test at 11.00am but with that guy there was no chance of me getting a look in.

Maths - didn't have the foggiest idea what the hell was going all in fact. Enough said.

The test, not a disaster, but could have been a bit better so we'll just see. Coming up is Building Construction (hopefully the results of our project) and then another Environmental lecture :(

On the plus side I met Brendan Kelly today for this first time in ages, just coming out of his lecture as I was heading in. And tomorrow I start my grinds with an enforced rate of €20 per hour....the mother said that, not me, I was happy with €10!!! If I end up with grinds with another girl and maybe another bloke across the road...time will tell...then I'll be absolutely raking it in on Saturdays!

After flicking through the papers today and from what I read online, I'm pretty pissed off at the latest story from Madeleine McCann's parents, where Kate describes how she spends everyday crying. Seriously, I could go on for ages over that alone, not something which would make me feel any better. There was the usual bull about Britney Spears and other celeb gossip. Probably the thing I enjoyed reading most was about The Playboy of the Western World in the Abbey, definitely going to try and see that next Saturday.

Other than that there isn't much else to say, so I thought I'd give you's an idea of what blogs are on the way:

"What I'm Looking Forward To" A kindof synopsis of stuff I plan to buy/do/see between now and Christmas

"Grinds My Gears!! - Issue 12" The Leaving Cert, there's a lot to go on so at the moment I'm just trying to work out what direction I'm going to go with it

"More Postulations" Just like all the previous blogs, those kindof things which boggle the mind

What's the point in raising the shields when the ship is already docked in starbase????

~The Damo

Thursday 4 October 2007

The English Class???? Eh.....

Those of you who have followed my blog from Day 1, will know that I'm rarely impressed by RTE drama, ala Grinds My Gears Issue 2:

When I saw the ads for "The English Class", I'll admit I was excited. Comedy-based drama, I figured it would be pretty decent. Sadly, I was mistaken.....

The English Class is a 6 part drama, focusing on a group of immigrants attending a late night english class in "Dublin City College", actually filmed in Ballyfermot College of Further Education. The class is trying to get to grips with the language after recently arriving to the country. The thing is however, that Myles (their teacher played by William Morgan) is more focussed on the members of the class filling in gaps in his life rather than teaching them the language.

Whilst there has only been one episode broadcast so far, I can already draw some unfortunate conclusions. The series features an ensemble cast from Poland, Russia, Spain and China. Myles Brennan, is a tragic soul, and his part-time teaching job in a night school quite literally is his life. He is completely oblivious to his student's frustration towards his haphazard teaching style, as he is far too self-absorbed in the misery of his own life to even notice. At the beginning of the episode, we see him sending in a request form to work permanently as a teacher.

In the first episode we meet Myles and get our introduction to his class. A new student arrives this evening, but the Belarusian is feeling like a fish out of water. To help her settle in, Myles encourages her to tell her story so the class can get to know her a bit better - the 'Myles Brennan Method' of teaching in action.

It's quite hard to describe the style of this programme unless you've seen it, but for a "comedy-based" drama, I could find no evidence of anything worthy of a laugh, not even a "heh". As far as I was concerned, there was nothing funny at all. I guess some people could laugh at both Myles' tragic existence and the dissatisfaction of the class....but even then you're struggling.

For what it's worth, Morgan's performance is really the driving force, as the cast representing the class have little or nothing to say at any time. Morgan plays the part to perfection though I must say. He really puts out the image of a helpless and lonely man who almost hears only what he wants to hear. Again, the rest of the class are ok, they don't play their parts wrong, but I think the failure of the show must come from the writing. The characters are ok again, and the cast seems to be well suited to their characters....but they just need more and funnier things to say if this programme is intended to survive as a comedy!

There's really nothing more to be said. To be frank, I only really watched it because The Panel was on afterwards. I did have fairly high expectations, and perhaps that's why I'm so disappointed with it now. But to be fair it was the first episode, so maybe its successors will be more impressive. Should things develop, I'll post another blog.

The English Class - Mondays, RTE 2, 9.30pm

The English Class.....more like Mechanics Class...aka BOR-ING

~The Damo