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!

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Facial Hair

I figured, since I have now harvested a successful goatee for 2 years, that I should perhaps write a blog about managing facial hair, and how to achieve the best results. As such, I've divided this piece into 3 main segments:
  • Making the choice

  • Cultivating your choice

  • Managing your choice

Making the Choice

The decision to embark in the world of facial hair is not easy one, until you've successfully completed step two in this guide, you will most likely face abuse from your peers as you attempt to change your image. Unlike, say a tatoo, facial hair isn't permanent, so you can alter your choice as I will illustrate later on. I've attached a picture which to my knowledge shows most variations on facial hair. There is of course nothing to stop you coming up with your own, but if you're new to this I suggest making a selection based on the below diagram. (You need to click HERE to enlarge).

After you've made your choice, I would suggesting consulting with a friend or loved one for their opinion. It IS a big step, and ridicule is a certain biproduct if you fail to succeed in your attempt. Facial hair is afterall a staple of your intent to stand out from the crowd. There are so many more clean shaven people out there and this is you making a change. I personally had the idea of growing a goatee for a Halloween costume, only later to find that people actually liked it and hence I kept it (also I found that it was great for stroking when I was in a pensieve mood). You, on the other hand, may not be so lucky. So think carefully before you proceed to the next step.


Perhaps the most important of all the steps, everything can go wrong with cultivating your choice. To make it clearer, I'm talking about actually GROWING your facial hair. All men after they reach that age realise that shaving can become a bit of a pain in the arse at times. We, unlike women, are fortunate enough to only have to shave above our necks on a regular basis.

The first, and certainly easiest step, is to simply not shave. How long you ask? Well I would suggest anywhere in the region of two-three weeks, depending on what you're going for. If say you're going for a tache of some sort I would wait until it is well grown in, shaving too early can make it look scrawny and will entice laughter and ridicule. If you're going for something around the chin, you don't need to wait as long. The main problem with not shaving however is that you can look like a right scruffy bastard, so sacrifices may need to be made on socialising fronts if necessary. If prompted, state that you intend to grow a (insert facial hair) rather than say you're just not shaving.

Once your face has reached maturity, it's time to slice and swipe. If you happen to be unfamiliar with the art of shaving, I will direct you now to a blog I wrote some time ago: The_Perfect_Shave

This stage is key. One slip here and all you're work will be for NOTHING. At this stage, you should have been day dreaming long and hard about your new facial hair, so you should have some idea of how to proceed in crafting it. When shaving at this point, a general word of advice is to start high on the cheeks. No one actually lets hair grow their so its good location to line-up your first motion. From there I can only advise that you keep a steady hand whilst you swing your razor. If you feel a little unsure, it might be helpful to perhaps draw a sketch, or jot down each movement you're going to make. Think of it like a game of chess, each stroke of your blade is setting up the check-mate, i.e. your finished product.

I would strongly recommend a blade that can be adjusted or has a single blade at the rear for any particular fine motions.


If you've got this far, you've done well. By now you've likely braved the public opinion on your new facial enhancement and are now faced with the task of keeping it up to scratch. From her I would recommend some key purchases; a trimmer (I have a Philips one) and also an electric razor is a good investment, one with an accuracy enhancer (or in English, a flat head). If these aren't available, you'll have to make do with a scissors.

On the technology side of it, a good idea is to start at the maximum depth with the trimmer, and then work your way down the settings until you reach the desired substance of depth. Remember that the fullness and strength of your facial hair is highly important to its social success, so make sure that you don't trim it down too much. This is of course facial hair dependent. Having the electric razor flat head can help control those hard to reach areas, and help define the curves if there are any - which there usually are. Additionally, if you're going a bit bushy with your choice, regular combing is a must if you want to avoid unwanted outward growing and just general untidyness.

Using a scissors is quite an undertaking, and one slip up with the dual blades could ruin all your hard work up to this point. My advice is to take it one snip at a time, being careful not to take too much off. You really should strive to own a trimmer as soon as possible. Controlled shaving with a regular blade should be undertaken at your own preferred intervals, and should only be used to manage large areas of your face that are to remain clean shaven.

Ultimately, if it all goes wrong, all the damage to your face can be rectified with a few swipes of a razor. What can't be repaired so easily is the damage that will be done to your image in the public domain. FAILING at facial hair is one of the worst things any man can experience, almost as bad as being left at the altar and just worse that drinking a warm beer. Remember, the success of your facial hair is directly proportional to your the care and attention you give it, and inversely proportional to your looks on a bad day, i.e. if you can still look smashing on a bad day, then facial hair is not for you, but with facial hair, you can still look great if you look like shit on a bad day. Trust me, that's how it is.

~The Damo

Monday 27 April 2009

Guitar Hero: Metallica - Preview

Metallica + Guitar Hero = Epic WIN!

Yes, needless to say my decision to buy Guitar Hero: World Tour for Christmas was ultimately determined by the inevitable release of this very game. Finally, a whole month and a bit after the Americans, we Europeans are going to give our hands, voices and feet a solid work out in Guitar Hero: Metallica.

The routine of Guitar Hero is well known, so rather than waffle on about what to expect, which I'll waffle about come the review, here's some videos from Youtube of people beating certain songs on expert mode with 100%....

Fight Fire with Fire

Creeping Death

Master of Puppets

Part of me suspects I'm going to suck at it greatly....

~The Damo

Damien Facts

The Damo is fantastic.

The Damo is a champion manager… of sorts.

When under pressure, The Damo can be seen to accumulate spots on his forehead; the number of spots is a direct proportion to stress level:

One spot: anxious over something
Two spots: exceptionally nervous about an upcoming event
Three spots: “Stress Stage 1” – The Damo can often be found staring into space aimlessly, likely postulating constantly about event which incurred two spots.
Four spots: anxious over a lady
Five spots: “Stress Stage 2” – The Damo is almost completey quiet and inanimated over four spots issue
Six spots: Immenent Meltdown – The Damo shuts down, and tries to suss out getting rid of the spots.

The Damo is a Man Utd fan.

You know The Damo is thinking for real (for serious like) when he is rubbing his chin.

The Damo grew a beard to accommodate his thinking habits.

The Damo is said to look like Paul O’Grady when he wears glasses (and when clean shaven).

You know The Damo is not thinking for real when he makes clicking noises with his mouth, cheeks, and tongue thing.

The Damo at present is only a Guitar Hero of the hard mode variety.

The Damo can cook.

The Damo has 2 Theme Tunes: “One Winged Angel” and “Hell March 3”

The Damo is a PS3 owner of the 60GB model variety. He has 19 games. The Damo also owns a PSP and a Sony Ericsson phone. One could argue that The Damo is a Sonyslut, or a Playslave or whatever fanboyish term you wish to label me with.

The Damo is a certified coach.

The Damo is a level 7 PSN user.

The Damo is a Vodafone customer. The reasoning behind this comes from a traumatic first experience with Meteor, where The Damo was screwed out of £60 approx. Since switching to Vodafone, The Damo has had 3 different phones over 7 years, and is a satisfied customer.

The Damo was born in Holles Street, but actually spent his early days in Malahide. He now resides in Lucan.

The Damo used to collect Warhammer, he is currently on hiatus from the hobby.

The Damo was an avid Lego collector and has plans to restore some of the older sets this summer.

The Damo is a fan of Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Lacuna Coil, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stoneage, Motorhead, Dream Theater, Slipknot, Trivium, AC/DC, Apocalyptica, Bowie, The Police, Lordi, Muse, Queen, Rammstein, System of a Down, Thin Lizzy, Yngwie Malmsteen amongst others.

The Damo has a four year old computer, Dell Dimension 5000 series.

The Damo is a man.

In the four year lifetime of this computer, The Damo has battled 2 major viruses and won.

The Damo is a Screwattack g1.

The Damo has been asked to write reviews for a website (like a proper one).

The Damo is a UCD Student of the Engineering discipline of the Structural kind with an appreciation for architecture.

The Damo’s achilles heal are Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, Flapjacks and another unnameable thing.

The Damo is often mistaken for Stan from South Park.

The Damo can consume vast quantities of alcohol before succumbing to the divine liquors’ potent effect.

The Damo is a Leinster fan.

The Damo prefers the Metro over the Herald AM. Well who doesn’t really?

The Damo is a fan of BOTH Star Wars AND Star Trek. As a Star Trek character, he would most likely be either Data or Geordi from Next Generation or one of the non-descript red-shirts from the Original Series.

The Damo is no longer an Undergraduate.

The Damo can’t breathe.

The Damo’s local is The Long Mile Inn, despite the fact that he lives in Lucan.
More to come....

~The Damo (wrote this blog)

Resistance: Retribution - Review


…is retribution. Resistance: Retribution takes place between Fall of Man and Resistance 2 on PS3. You play as James Grayson, a former British soldier who, after having to execute his own brother who was in the process of being converted into a Chimera, deserts his post and goes on a rampage across Britain blowing up more than 20 conversion centres and becoming somewhat of a folk hero to what remains of the British population. Grayson is then captured and faces the firing squad for desertion in a time of war until he is recruited by the Maquis – the French Resistance who want to take back a conquered Europe from the Chimera – who seek his experience in dealing with conversion centres. So begins Operation Overstrike.

Grayson as a character has a very strong personality, and greatly contrasts the “get-the-job-done” silent attitude of Nathan Hale, the protagonist of Fall of Man and R2. The trauma of having to execute his own brother has left him with a thirst for Chimeran blood – an attitude which surprisingly is re-evaluated throughout the game – and a chip on his shoulder. He may not like his new employers, particularly Colonel Mallery or “Molly” as Grayson prefers to call him but he knows his duty nonetheless. Whilst Operation Overstrike is the encompassing military mission being carried out, Grayson is really in Europe to help Raine Bouchard (also a Maquis member) in researching and later administering a virus which would stop the conversion process altogether. Unlike Fall of Man and R2, there is a much bigger influence on the plot, with plenty of distractions to the main objective which keep the game interesting throughout. The story is told via pre-rendered cut-scenes, still images and diary entries. The diary entries help give an insight to character motivations, something that was lacking in Resistance 2.

One thing is certain about Retribution and that is it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play. Retribution switches to a 3rd person perspective with a clever lock-on system and cover system which helps keep the action fluid and paced despite the limitations of the PSP. Move with the analog, aim with the face buttons. It works surprisingly well, and focuses the emphasis on not taking hits rather than aiming. Levels are also diverse enough to include some verticality, crawling and swimming, resulting in nice and timely changes of pace to the enjoyable gun play. The levels, on the whole, are fantastic. The game certainly feels more like Fall of Man than Resistance 2, so expect to see those mines again as well as a few Slipskulls on the way. You’ll find yourself fighting for the cause in Rotterdam, Bonn, Luxembourg to name a few and a some other locations which help set the scene for Resistance 2.

Ultimately Retribution seeks to fill in any gaps, and indeed create a few of its own, in the Resistance Universe. For the first time ever in the series the player finally meets the Cloven face to face, and if your patient enough to collect the hidden intel about them aswell I can assure you that fans won’t be disappointed. Every level in the game has hidden intel, which when all found can unlock some bonus weapons for replay of previous levels. Traditional weapons like the Carbine, Auger and Fareye appear with a few nice additions typical of the Resistance universe such as the Razor (which replaces the Bullseye) whose alternate fire is an energy blade which ricochet off surfaces and a chaingun with a regenerate shield.

Intel and skill points (like achievements) help to add to the replay of the game which lasts about 12 hours on a first play through. Resistance 2 owners get a few bonuses in the form of Infected Mode and Retribution+, which can be activated by connecting your PSP to a PS3 with Resistance 2 running. Infected Mode infects Grayson with the Chimera virus, giving him regenerative health, the ability to indefinitely breathe underwater and the Magnum from Resistance 2. Additionally his appearance changes to that of a SRPA operative. The only downside of this mode is that it doesn’t change the pre-rendered cut scenes and is deactivated once you quit the game or power down the PSP. It does however alter some encounters with other characters in the game, as well as their reactions to Grayson.

Retribution + allows you to play the game using your Dualshock 3, but it disables the auto-lock on system and the game becomes a little bit harder. Plus mode isn’t game changing like Infected mode but it is nevertheless a nice addition to a portable system game that already has more content than most console games.

When you throw in a standard, yet welcome, multiplayer component, Retribution ticks all the boxes for a top-notch game. The graphics, for handheld standards are mightily impressive with clever lighting and texture design and a butter-smooth framerate throughout. Add in a brilliant soundtrack that changes to coincide with the action on screen and voice acting on par with the console games and you have one helluva package for €40 that you can keep in your pocket. Here’s hoping for a sequel in the years to come.

Presentation: 9.5

As far as portable games go, they don't get much better than this.

Gameplay: 9.4

Fast and intense, the way I like it.

Story: 9.3

Probably the single best Resistance plot yet, great focus and an engaging experience.

Design: 10

Experience with the PSP shows, well made from framerate to sound.

Content: 10

It has more content than a console game. That's all I need to say.

Overall: 9.6

~The Damo

AVGN Quadruple - Atari, SNAKE!!! and an Odyssey

WOAH!! A whole month since my last appearance here, well that'll have to change, total blowout today! Startin' with a NERDY foursome!

Atari Jaguar Part 1:

Atari Jaguar Part 2:

Metal Gear:

Magna Vox Odyssey:

~The Damo