Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas One And All!

Just a very quick post to say Merry Christmas to anyone who still pops by here! Yep, I've slipped into bad habits again, and haven't posted for months! Wishing you all a Happy Holidays, and a very prosperous New Year 2010!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Catch Up: Contentment...

I've been totally absent from the computer for some time , which is happily a reflection of my increasing good health and independence since my operation. I've also been in a happy period of gaming contentment in a variety of ways.

Firstly I completed the epic Shenmue on the Dreamcast. I'd played it partly because I wanted to give my Dreamcast some love, as I'd neglected it for some time. It's quite a gently paced game with a kick ass ending. I wondered whether it would stand the test of time, and it does. It looks and sounds brilliant, it's immersive and engaging, epic and wonderful. It was a nice, soothingly paced game to play as I was recovering.

As soon as I finished Shenmue, I allowed myself the luxury of downloading The Ballad Of Gay Tony, the latest download for GTA IV on the 360. It's an absolute blast to have the opportunity to explore another aspect of life in Liberty City. I couldn't be happier than when I'm playing through a GTA IV game and opening up the life of a character - Niko Bellic, Johnny Klebbitz or new guy Luis Lopez- but there is a problem...

I don't know if it's my download only, but the game is constantly crashing during missions, sometimes seconds before the conclusion of a lengthy mission and has seriously hampered my progress in and enjoyment of the game. So much so that I've found distraction elsewhere.

Stranglehold is a game which I'd dipped into in short bursts, but not really played properly. The John Woo directed 'sequel' to the epic movie Hardboiled, the game follows the investigations of the legendary Inspector "Tequila" Yuen, played by Chow Yun Fat. I've now played a good chunk of the game and it's an explosive third person shooter with elements of the "bullet time" shooting mechanic of games like Max Payne and Matrix Path Of Neo. It's graphically lovely too.

I've also just put in a bit of time on both the DS and the PSP. I decided to give GTA: Liberty City Stories on the PSP another shot, after failing to make much progress on my first attempt. I've completed a good few missions which has of course lead to me liking it again... until the next time I get stuck!
I've also been playing Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare... (no not the COD:MW 2 that has just been released)... instead I've been playing the DS adaptation of the game that was a poor consolation for Nintendo fans until now... The DS version is actually very good, with a lot of game squeezed into a tiny cartridge! Epic musical score, good use of sampled voice commands, nice 3D visuals and a good few missions that make great use of the DS stylus. I've completed it now and I'd thoroughly recommend it to any DS owners out there! I'm seriously considering getting COD: World At War on the DS on the back of my enjoyment of this title...

On my beloved PS2, I've been playing GTA: San Andreas and GTA: Vice City Stories (a PS2 port of a PSP game that I'd started previously, and then abandoned.) It's much easier on the PS2!

I've also been getting into a lot of films, watching the Star Wars series from episodes one through six and loving it so much that I actually started getting into the Clone Wars animated series too!

So anyway, just to let you know that I'm alive and well, getting better and loving my gaming!

Oh and I'm going to get the Darkside Chronicles tomorrow, so time to blow the dust off my Wii-mote and give the Wii some love!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fifa 10 DS

My interest in football (soccer for my friends across the pond) games has been sporadic at best. The first football game I played with any regularity was Sega World Wide Soccer '97 on the Saturn. Fast forward to 2004 and I had a big stint playing Sega World Wide Soccer 2000 (Euro Edition) on the Dreamcast. But the playing of the two most popular franchises, Pro-Evolution Soccer or Fifa, (usually against my sons) would result in huge 'hissy fits', controller-throwing and general all round bad sportsmanship on my part.

In 2007, however, I found my footballing nirvana in the unlikely form of Fifa 07 for the DS. No longer did I have to play my sons, no longer did I have to face the humiliation of being out-skilled, out-played and generally shown up as inferior. Now my only opposition was the CPU players, and they soon turned out to be little opposition at all.

I played that particular title to death. I played it as my beloved Manchester City, (a club who in 'real life' have not won a domestic or European title for over thirty years) and took them to unprecedented heights of glory. For five seasons I won everything, the premiership, the FA Cup, the European cup and the Community Shield. The game could also be played in it's entirety without using the stylus or touch screen, which was great because my first generation DS was very poorly at the time!

However, time moves on, and a new DS demanded a new Fifa. Besides, Manchester City have gone through such a major squad shake up since their financial revolution, that there was only Stephen Ireland and Micah Richards from the '07 line up still in the squad in 2009. The kits had changed and... well... damn it! I just wanted an update! Now I did have Fifa 09 for the PSP (it came bundled with my PSP which also had a stick-on Fifa 09 'skin') but I never got into it, preferring instead to stick with my beloved DS '07 game. So buying the new Fifa 10 at full price was a big deal for me.

I was full of anticipation when I put the cartridge into my DS. Sure enough, apart from the inclusion of Richard Dunne, the squad was all present and correct. The new stylish black away kit was there and all looked good! I eagerly looked for the 'career mode' with which I had had such success on Fifa 07, but alas it wasn't there! Instead it had been replaced by a mode called "Be A Pro". Rather than guiding your team to glory, the emphasis was now on the career of one player, who has to succeed at a series of challenges in order to progress through the ranks of the home team and be selected by coaches for international duty.

Unfortunately, this was SO different from the game play of the '07 edition, that I found it almost impossible to play, let alone find any success. I was massively disappointed and about to vent my spleen over here at Gnome's Gaming On The Go. That was before I switched game modes. 'Kick Off' Mode' allows you to play a one off match against any rival of your choice. It also gives you the choice of playing in the "Be A Pro" mode, or "Classic" mode. And it was in "Classic" mode, that I found my salvation.

Although not exactly the same as Fifa '07, it was similar enough for me to play with some degree of success. The 'game settings' allows you to set the game's difficulty level, according to your own skill level. I set the CPU skill at 'amateur' and got rid of the 'offside' rule to allow the game greater flow. The ability to play a variety of tournaments in "Classic" mode means I've already taken Manchester City to the final of the English FA Cup (which I won on penalties). However, this incarnation of the game does not give one the option of taking a mid-table club into Europe... You can only play as one one of the the English Premiership's top four teams - Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea, which is a bit of a bummer!

One of the biggest changes so far is the use of the stylus. During penalty shoot outs, the stylus is employed as a means of shooting (by swiping the stylus towards the goal) and saving (a large pair of gloves appear in the goal which you move with the stylus to save the opposition's shot.) I love this feature! It helped me win the FA cup ha ha!

Now I realise that this is a very subjective review (mine always are...) so I'll provide links to more informative sites... Would I recommend it as a full price purchase? Well, no. You can pick up Fifa 07, 08 and 09 for buttons in second hand gaming emporiums. If it's 'game play' you're after then these titles will more than adequately suffice. If you are anal about having current players and kits then go ahead and splurge your hard earned pennies on Fifa 10. But it's because of people like me that EA are able to squeeze cash from a gullible audience every time they bring out a new football or golf game.

However, if you see Fifa 10 cheap or even with a few quid/euros/dollars knocked off, it's a great game for the handheld gamer, which can be played in short little bursts, as a handheld titles should be.

Father K Rating: 7.5/10!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

This Is It - Mini Review

Wow! Halloween looked like it was going to be a bit of a wash out, till Mrs. K suggested that we go and see "This Is It" to mark the day and to give us something special to do on this most special of nights
We took Little Ted, who rather sweetly said he would like to go because he'd "never been to a concert." I wasn't quite sure what we'd be seeing though, a stunning record of Michael's last performances, a taster of what the concert would have been like, or a bit of a disappointment, like the accompanying CD that I lambasted on these very pages?

In short, the film was brilliant. Mike did not look sick, he did not look like a drug addict, he did not look "odd" and he did not look 50! He looked great! His movements were tight, his voice note and pitch perfect and clearly the vision for the whole show was as much his as it was long time collaborator Kenny Ortega.

What was great was seeing Mike's normality, his personality, his humbleness and his interaction with others. When for years, we have had the most negative press, showing Mike in his masks, on crutches, in wheel chairs etc, it's just great to see him as an iconic entertainer, somehow fused with a normal, likable guy.

The film has captured the very essence of Michael's magic, showing everyone just why he was so celebrated before the negative conspiracy to bring him down began. My favourite parts of the movie were the film sequences, which had been done to enhance (and no doubt pad out) the show.

The film sequence for Smooth Criminal was amazing, with Mike somehow sequenced into a Humphrey Bogart movie, interacting with him and culminating in Mike firing off a Tommy Gun!

The movie for Thriller (cleverly fused with a snippet of 'Ghosts') and intended to be a 3D sequence for the concert, looked amazing. But it must have been either a late part of the concert that Mike didn't get the chance to interact with, or Mike wasn't well when they were doing it. Either way, he didn't seem to be that into it. The film for Earth Song was amazing too, but I'll let you see that for yourselves.

The one part of the film that I didn't get into, was seeing mike doing a Jackson 5 medley. It was interesting to note that Mike didn't do one song from the 'Invincible' album, his only CD release this millennium. Why do 40 year old songs with backing singers standing in for his brothers, when he could have brought us (for the first time) the chance to see his 'newest' material live?

Still, that was a very small gripe, in a film that I would have to give 10/10 as an overall score. Having had to watch recycled material and old videos over and over, to see Michael in this fresh, new, contemporary context was sheer bliss. I can't recommend this film highly enough. Do yourself a favour and go and see it. If you're in any way a fan of Michael or even just a fan of excellent musicianship, you can't fail to enjoy it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Cardboard skeleton? Check! Cardboard mummy? Check! Polystyrene tombstones? Check! Tacky plastic banners? Check! Talking skull with googly moving eyes? Check!

I absolutely love Halloween, it only comes a very close second to Christmas in terms of annual holidays... Normally in the Krishna household, we celebrate Halloween excessively, decorating the whole house, carving up a whole heap of pumpkins and root vegetables, getting in tons of sweets and having a big 'drink up' with anyone who cares to call on us.

Last year we threw a big costume party, and had a great time! Alas, this year, no 'drink up', no party, no callers and no dressing up. I was feeling very un-festive this year, and slightly depressed about the lack of festivities ahead. No drinkies for me, doctors orders... meh!!!

However, just at the last minute, I ordered the Halloween box be brought down from the loft, and I threw up a few decorations for the weekend. Even though we have no festivities planned, we are going to the cinema to see Michael Jackson's "This Is It". (That's me, Mrs. K and Little Ted, my youngest son.)

Me and Ted are also carving a pumpkin and there will be a selection of horror films being watched before and after the cinema trip. I started Silent Hill 2 yesterday and I'll also be blasting a few zombies in House Of The Dead Overkill. (HOTD on the Saturn has been a Halloween staple for some years, now it's the Wii's turn!) Oh and I'll also be watching Michale Jackson's "Ghosts" which is far superior to "Thriller" and well worth checking out if you've never seen it (I'll throw a taster video at the end of the post!)

Anyway, no matter what you're doing on this most wonderful of days, may I be one of the first to wish you a very "Happy Halloween!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Maworld Purchased

I picked up Madworld for the Wii second hand for £13. I guess I'm now guilty of not supporting this mature, original Wii content first hand, and therefore fuelling the accusation that the Wii is only for family friendly fun games. (But I NEVER buy them however) I remember J and Junlee being up for this one when it was in development. Then we all lost interest in our Wiis and I guess the game was forgotten to an extent.

That means I've now got Madworld and House Of The Dead Overkill to play. I just never play the Wii! Still, Resident Evil the Darkside Chronicles are out soon, so, I'm gonna have to dust it off and get used to sitting in the front room to play!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brutal Legend: First Impressions

I've seen Brutal Legend on the gaming horizon for many months now. I know the game's developer has a great reputation for witty and intelligent games in the past. I also knew it was a heavy metal themed game and that it was a vehicle for Jack Black's talent. You would have thought all of those factors would have meant the game would have been hot on my "to play" list. But it wasn't, not at all.

It was only seeing my son play the demo level on Saturday morning (he subsequently purchased the game) that has changed my mind at all. The game looks hot! Visually the graphics are luscious, with a nice 'cartoony' feel to them. The game world looks like it was zapped straight out of a seventies prog rock album cover or an Iron Maiden landscape (I'm surprised 'Eddie' doesn't make a cameo!)

Several rock legends do though. So far I've seen Lemmy from Motorhead (who was also the arms dealer in the seminal Scarface). I've also seen Ozzy, who sounds brilliant and fits right in with the game. Apparently Judas Priest's Rob Halford makes an appearance at some point too.

Of course Jack Black is excellent, he always is. I wouldn't have given this game a second look unless it had jumped right into my living room, which luckily it has! I'll definitely give it a playthrough some time soon, as I understand it's a short game, which suits me fine! Check out the videos and see what you think!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two Arrivals In The Post

I got my Twinkies! And whilst they might not have been '£1.60 a piece' good, they were absolutely delicious. The first one I ate without a drink, whilst feeling a little nauseous (due to the cocktail of 40 or so tablets I take each day). As I'm sure you can imagine, that one wasn't that great!

The next one, however, I ate whilst feeling fine and accompanied with a nice decaf Latte'. Now that was GOOD with a capital 'G'! Creamy, spongey, Twinki-licious! My little son, Ted, is also a big fan, although to qualify that, he is actually a fan of anything containing sugar, so no surprise there!

The second item I got through the post was the "This Is It" CD, the latest release from my favourite late artist, Mr. Michael Joseph Jackson. So what do we have? A fancy pants package containing the same recycled tunes that I harped on about earlier on the site. Nothing 'new' at all. I was always going to buy it, I'm a completist after all. But you can register me "underwhelmed" by Mike's latest release. So all in all, the Twinkies were the better of the two purchases.

Hostess 1 Jackson 0 ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BJ and Father K Start New Business Empire!

Something like this BJ?

Expensive snacks!

Now some of you will be appalled by what I'm about to write, what with the state of the world and global hunger etc. I'm not usually what you would call a decadent man, I would actually say I'm a man of simple tastes. However, after watching Zombieland for the second time, I just spent £16 ordering a box of 10 Hostess Twinkies to be shipped to my house.

I know Twinkies are just a very light sponge tube, filled with a very artificial tasting cream, not necessarily the best food for a recovering heart patient! However, I felt such an overwhelming craving (coupled with the fact that I am kind of tied to my laptop, with little else to do), that I found myself buying them.

Now I understand that Twinkies are junk food, and that over in the US they probably cost about $1 for 10 and that I just paid about $20 for 10, but this craving runs deeper than the last time I watched Zombieland.

As a child growing up, I devoured DC and Marvel comics. I was obsessed with them. Not just the stories within them, but the advertisements too. Advertisements for Sea-Monkeys, Charles Atlas work out system, X-Ray Spex, 1000 plastic soldiers for $1 and so on. But also the food advertisements, aimed at children... stuff we could not get in the UK... Lucky Charms, Hershey Bars, Grape Soda, Wonderbread and of course... Twinkies.

These were the best advertisements of all, actually one page stories featuring the very superheroes whose comics they were advertised in. (Although th only one I can remember clearly featured Aquaman, a superhero with whom I'm not particularly familiar to this day).

Now, it is possible to get a lot more varieties of US food in the UK than it was 30 years ago, but very often the prices are ridiculously over-priced (e.g. Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese in Asda £1, Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese in Selfridges £5!) Still, if you want the Twinkie sugar rush, you gotta pay 'top dollar'!

I'll let you know whether it was worth the price I paid when I taste them!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Brother

My brother is called Nick and he is four years older than me. I idolised him as a kid, being hugely influenced by his tastes in everything, but especially music. He introduced me to both reggae (Bob Marley) and rap (Sugar Hill Gang) in the seventies and so much more. We were each other's 'best man' when we married our wives , which I think is a testament to our friendship as well as our fraternal relationship.

Of course, our lives diverged as we had families and careers, but we've remained good friends despite seeing less and less of each other as time went on. Recently, his work has brought him to Manchester on a regular basis, meaning we have seen a lot more of each other over the last year.

When I was ill in February, he bought me 'Gun' and 'Scarface' for the PSP, to help me pass time in hospital. Yesterday, he came over to see me and somewhat surpassed that gesture by buying me an iPod touch. I've no idea how much that cost (nor do I want to), but I know it's in the "hundreds".

So I just wanted to post here (although he'll never see it) how grateful I am, and how much I love him. Thanks for letting me share that!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Koobzing To America" by Barry The Nomad

How many tired, hungry and oppressed immigrants have seen this image as the first beacon of hope in the "Land Of The Free'? Well , erm, none actually, but if I have my way, President Obama will immediately replace the old Statue Of Liberty, with this new Statue Of Koobz. Then, and only then, will he be deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Cheers Barry!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thousands Of Catholics Flock To See Koobs "Miracle Waffle!"

Millions of Catholics are expected to descend on the home of aging lethario Father Krishna this morning, after this miraculous image was spotted in the good Father's pancake earlier today. A scientist was quoted as saying: "This is no fake... erm... honest."

Kanye Swoops In Koobs MTV Award Shocker!

After hearing of this terrible interruption Nobel-Peace-Prize-For-Nothing-President Bollock Obama was heard to say: "What an asshole!" (Takes one to know one Obama!) However, veteran blogger and all round good-egg Father Krishna, was apparently thrilled at Kanye's message, stating: "He was always my favourite rapper..."

Thanks to Nebacha for this superb work of Koobs-related art!

This Is It - A Big Fat Rip off

As I was surfing yesterday, (not literally you understand) I came across the chance to pre-order the "This Is It" CD, not just the single, but the album CD accompanying the movie. This is the tracklisting:

Disc 01
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
They Don’t Care About Us
Human Nature
Smooth Criminal
The Way You Make Me Feel
Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You
Beat It
Black Or White
Earth Song
Billie Jean
Man In The Mirror
This Is It
This Is It (Orchestra Version)

Disc 02
She’s Out Of My Life (Demo)
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (Demo)
Beat It (Demo)
Planet Earth (Poem)

What a pile of shite! We're not talking about new versions of these tracks, but the same thing that you would have if you had all of Mike's studio albums (I do) or the many compilation albums such as "Michael Jackson's Number Ones", "The Essential Michael Jackson", "HIStory Pt.1", "The Ultimate Collection" or "King Of Pop" (I do). Eg. Nothing new at all except a few demos and the "This Is It" track that was conceived nearly a quarter of a century ago.

This means that apart from "Invincible" (2001), the single "One More Chance" (2003) and the Akon collaboration I flagged up a couple of days ago, fans have been denied anything truly new from Mike this millennium. To have to go back eight years to find "fresh" MJ tunes is increasingly frustrating. I made my own compilations this summer and the track list went like this:
"Hold My Hand" MJ/Akon (Unreleased 2008)
"Wanna Be Startin Something" MJ/Akon ('Thriller 25' 2008)
"Blood On The Dancefloor" (Refugee Camp Remix - CD Single 1997)
"2 Bad" (Refugee Camp Remix - Blood On The Dancefloor Album 1997)
"Invincible" (Invincible CD Album 2001)
"2000 Watts" (Invincible CD Album 2001)
"This Time Around" feat: Notorious B.I.G (HIStory CD Album 1995)
"Unbreakable" feat: Notorious B.I.G. (Invincible CD Album 2001)
"Heartbreaker" (Invincible CD Album 2001)
"The Girl Is Mine 2008" feat: Will.I.Am ('Thriller 25' 2008)
"Who Is It?" IHS Mix (The Ultimate Collection 2004)
"P.Y.T 2008" feat: Will.I.Am ('Thriller 25' 2008)
"Billy Jean" - Dirty Funker Remix (2009 Internet)
"Billy Jean - Dirty Funker Dub (2009 Internet)

Now this represented to me something that would provide MJ fans with the freshest and most contemporary sounding material, rather than just a re-hash of all the "greatest hits" that have been recycled by Michael's people for the last 15 years. The track listing of 'This Is It' would make a great set list for a live concert. During the up-coming movie, I understand we'll get to see

Mike singing these tracks 'live' at the Staples Centre in LA. Why not just put a CD out of those recordings? Instead we get the studio versions that (quote) "inspired" the concert set list. In other words, the same stuff that any devoted Mike fan will already own...

The one positive thing I took from Mike's death (apart from a re-assessment of his status in the public perception) was the chance for long suffering fans to finally hear some "new material". Looks like I'm going to be waiting a while...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take Koobs!

I've not got photoshop, so I pissed around on paint for bit. I think everyone who reads this (all five of you) should have a go at seeing what you can do with Koobs and then mail it to me. (That includes you Koobs!) I'll post any I get!

Koobs you rock!

Just saw this picture over at Koob's place and it made me laugh so much. Koobs just does funny shit, like that time he videoed himself locked in a cupboard at work. The picture just seems to encapsulate youthful exuberance, and seems ripe for manipulation in a photo-shop stylee.

Just keep on doing what you do Koobs!

Zombieland Trailer

If you're looking for a bit of mindless entertainment with gore, guns and humour (with rotting tongue firmly in cheek), you could do a lot worse than check out this particular film. I saw it with my two eldest sons on Sunday, whilst Mrs. K and Little Ted opted for the less harrowing "Up".

I think me and the tw big guys made the better choice though (we sneaked in to the last 15 minutes of "Up" after Zombieland, ha ha!) Oh, and there is a superb cameo by Bill Murray in there too, as the icing on a very lovely, er, zombie-cake. Enjoy!

Bargains galore!

I think I've explained recently, that the PS2 is my current console of choice. There are a number of reasons for this:
*It's set up in my bedroom, where I am currently spending a lot of time
*I was fed up of competing for time on the 360
*I wanted to play through a number of titles that I had for the PS2, before they suffered in comparison to the current gen (does that make sense?)
*I was blown away by a few PS2 titles this year which have made me want to play more PS2 titles (God Of War, Scarface, Sega Superstar Tennis, DMC2 etc.) - this has proved to me that the PS2 has a lot of life left in it...

But of course, being me, I couldn't play through my backlog without adding to it. So now, every time I go to Blockbuster games, I'm rooting through the PS2 section (3 for £10) and kind of ensuring that I'm going to be playing the system for the rest of the year at least... LOL! That wasn't the idea! So, my new 'to play' list looks like this:

*DMC1 &3
*Tomb Raider Anniversary
*Killer 7 (Suda 51!!!)
*Outrun 2
*VF4 Evolution
*Burnout 3: Takedown

*Alone In The Dark

I also bought the Godfather and Shadow The Hedgehog, both of which carry quite weightily BAD reputations, but I've often enjoyed games that others have panned (Red Steel, Enter The Matrix, Blue Stinger to name but three...)

However, the game I'm currently most pleased about procuring is Burnout 3. Let me explain: My game's 'bible' is a magazine called Games TM, which I have delivered to my door each month. At the back of the mag is a games guide, which has several categories such as Top 10 RPGs, Top 10 Shooters, Top 10 Action, Top 10 Arcade etc. This is where I first heard of Killer 7.

I'll scan these top 10 lists (which include games for Ps2, Gamecube, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, DS, PSP and PC - but for some reason NOT the Dreamcast) and try to pick up any title off the list that I see whilst in pre-owned games emporiums. I don't seek them out off eBay, and I won't pay more than a fiver for them, but if they are there I'll grab 'em.

Burnout 3:Takedown for PS2 gets a 9.5/10 score from Gamespot. As an arcade racer, it couldn't be more perfect. It's fast, visceral and thrilling and compulsive. Crashing is not a hindrance to racing but is a vital part of it... rubbing, tailgating, slamming and so on, earn you points and nitro. The more risks you take, the more points you'll earn. Everything during the race career is geared towards unlocking new cars and events. This is perfect for a geek like myself, who gets off on collecting items during games (Scarface was perfect for the same reason.)

The graphics are nice and shiny and great looking for a last gen console. But perhaps the best thing about the title was that I'd had loads of practise playing Burnout on the DS, which meant the 'pick up and play' potential was already there before I'd bought the game.

I'll give you some video and screenshots as usual, and then I'm off to play! Health-wise, I feel like I'm getting better and better each day, although I'm pretty incapacitated. My thumbs and fingers are in perfect working order, however, which is good for gaming and good for this blog!

Take care my friends!

Monday, October 12, 2009

MJ - "This Is It" - 'New' Song

It made the national news in the UK tonight, that there is to be a new new release from Michael Jackson, just four months after Michael's death. This was such an opportunity to smash the charts wide apart, and to re-instate Michael to his rightful place as the facilitator of the modern r'n'b scene (Timberlake, Usher, Neyo, Akon etc.) and certainly confirm that the title "King Of Pop" was well deserved.

We've read that there are "hundreds" of new, unheard tunes out there, so what do those with access to his material do? They release a rejected track from the "Dangerous" (20 years old)sessions that just happens to have the same title as his final concerts.

Now whilst I'm thrilled to see any new material from Mike, I'd like it to be new material. I've been listening to the frankly stupendous 2008 collaboration between Akon and Mike "Hold My Hand" all summer. It's very cool, and most importantly, very contemporary. I've burned dozens of copies of it for friends and colleagues who were craving something fresh from Mike after his tragic demise.

So I'll post the new "This Is It" tune at the top of the post, and then some stuff that I feel would have been better underneath. See what you think.

As to whether or not I'll buy "This Is It", of course I will! Are you daft? I'd buy recordings of Mike sleeping! Ha ha!

Hospitales #3: Nurses who are bitches...

#1. The Shaving Nurse: This one wasn't really too much of a bitch, I guess she was just a tactless tw*t. As part of my operation 'prep', I had to shave my legs (in case they needed a vein from there), my chest (obviously), my arm-pits and the crease between my pubis and my thigh. This is not so great at any time, but this was the night before my op. and I was shitting myself. The reason the shaving nurse is on the list is because a.) She insisted on kneeling in front of me whilst I did it and b.) She allowed the anaesthetist into the bathroom to "say hello" whilst I was bollock naked. The last thing you want whilst standing naked with microscopic wedding tackle and shaven legs, is to have to shake hands with a stranger.

#2. The Puking Nurse: One drug side effect I did not mention last time was a day of constant vomiting straight after my op. I also had to try and eat/take medicine and hold it down. I knew I had to time each tablet right, so I could keep it down long enough for it to take effect. When it came time for the evening meds, I was due a sleeping tablet. I asked the nurse if I could wait till I felt less sick before I took the sleeper. "No, no, you'll be fine!" she chimed, and made me take it. Of course I puked it up straight away. So I asked if I could have another as I really needed the relief of a good night's sleep. "No, certainly not" explained the nurse "It's very strong medicine, we can only give out one a night..." AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!

#3. The Stone Cold Bitch: Two days after my op. I was moved from the intensive care unit to the medical ward, without passing through the high dependency unit, which I was supposed to. I had four vistitors, and no chairs by my bed, except the one I was to use when they were changing my bed. I asked one of my sons to sit in the chair and a nurse flew out of nowhere to tell me that was for patients only. I explained that this was my son, and I was happy for him to sit on it, as I was lying on the bed. She started to go on about rules and procedure. I started to argue back in my drug addled state and said that it was 'my chair' and I wanted my son to sit on it. I know at one point I used the word "f**k" or "f**king", because the nurse sent for the ward sister to speak to me. The ward sister was very sympathetic to me, however, and very unimpressed that my first impression of the ward was an over-officious nazi-nurse who was more concerned about rules and regulations than ensuring her patient's well being. She went home in tears that evening, presumably after being told to prioritise what any person with half a brain would understand was really important...

Now normally I would hate to see anyone in trouble 'cos of me. But I'll be honest, she made me shed a few tears of rage and frustration, I wasn't devastated to see her shed a few over her mis-management of my care.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hospitales #2: "Drugs are bad... Umkay?"

I'm hoping that this series will not be a long one, as I'll be very happy to put this whole time behind me. I was chuffed to see Barry here, as well as J. One because Barry is almost single-handedly keeping the SJY alive, for which I am eternally grateful. J is one of my blogging heroes, and FKWS was always intended to be something like J's place (It isn't because J's is SO MUCH more of a professional affair. "Hospitales" was meant to be like "J in Japan", although with much less interesting subject matter!

Mr. Sonnyboy has been there for me on a number of occasions, and along with BJ is someone I consider a true friend, despite never having met in 'real life'. So as soon as Junlee, Gnome and Nebacha get here, I got all my homies in the hood, and it's all good.

However, dissecting this heart op. experience is what it's all about, so I guess I'll get started. First of all I'll explain what's been done. My chest has been sawn through, to allow access to my right aortic valve, which has been replaced by a plastic one. If you put your fingers below your 'adam's apple', you'll feel two bones, called (I think,) your clavicle(???) Well the first weird thing was for me to feel one bone in that space. They've fused the two together whilst closing it up! Clever, but odd nevertheless.

So you can imagine they needed some heavy duty drugs to get you through that... And despite seeing the pain off quite effectively, the side effects were horrendous. But I'm getting ahead of myself....

My current year of poor health, started when I fell down the stairs rushing to get to work. I dislocated my shoulder and on that occasion, the nitrous oxide (laughing gas) administered was just great. It took all the pain away and I was stood laughing and joking with the nursing staff whilst my shoulder jutted unnaturally into my field of vision.

This injury led me to a couple of months of heavy boozing, with no work to get up for, and I reckon that's what led to my heart condition (which I was born with) coming to fruition at 42...

That lead to me having to give up drinking which I stupidly really got annoyed about. I now wish I hadn't pissed so much of my life away, but hey you live and learn! But again, I digress...

This actually shows both Morpheus (the god) and the actual size of my 'old feller' for most of my stay in hospital, ha ha!

This time, the major drug used in anaesthesia and pain control was morphine. (You know, Michael Jackson's 'droug du choisir'...) I have no idea how anyone could use this shit for any length of time. Famously used for patching up wounded WWI soldiers so they could struggle on fighting, and also named after Morpheus, God Of Dreams, this drug is one I had never really experienced (And believe me dear brothers I've done 'em all....)

First of all, lets get onto the minor side effects. Increased body heat... Hot, sweaty, palpitations. Itching, intense itching of hands and feet. UGH!

Visuals: Whilst my eyes were open, I just saw the normal ward. Eyes closed? Immediately the scene was replaced. This is when I would 'see' the patients and staff that had filled the wards before. VERY scary. Other than that I would see vast landscapes of wires and tubes, electrical cable and strange patterns, a little like this:

Movement: I've experienced auditory and visual hallucination before. They don't phase me. But at one point I was sat in a wheelchair. When I closed my eyes I would feel myself 'whizzing' off. Open them and I was sat right in the same place. Close them and 'wheeeee!!!!' off I'd go again. Not too bad actually that one.

Bowel movement: Opiates bung you up. I just took my first #2 in a week... I won't expand on that, ha ha.

Penis size: On my proudest most 'upstanding' moments, my willy would be about nine inches long, at rest, maybe about five or six. In hospital after morphine, literally about one and a half, to two. Certainly shorter than my pubic hair which I actually wet whilst weeing. When you're at a low ebb, the last thing you need is for your John Thomas to start retreating INTO your body.

So there you go! Horrible, horrible stuff! Next time, nurses that are b**tches!!! (Few and far between I hasten to add....)