Thursday, September 03, 2009

Note to self…

The next time you pass Mothercare, go in and by a shampoo hat. That's what I'll be telling my brain this weekend. My little man hates getting shampoo and water in his eyes, and has done for the last year and a half. I've just trucked on pouring the shampoo over his eyes and grabbing a towel to wipe it away. Tonight's shouts of 'Daddy I can't see' were the straw that broke the camel's back. I've gotta help him. It must be in his genes as I used to hate having my hair washed.
We didn't exactly start off well. Harry wanted to see Sally race off with Lightning McQueen at the end of Cars, but I always put a strict 15 minute rule on how much TV he watches at the end of each day. He was whimpering and begging me to let him see Sally. Cruel daddy stuck to his guns. For a better bathtime I should have just put the TV back on.
Fast forward to bathtime and a little man who didn't want to get in, but in he went eventually. A quick soap down with some Johnson's baby lavender wash and a terrible shampooing session and we were back out. Hot-tempered daddy stopped being angry, wrapped Harry in his towel and kissed and cuddled him until we were friends again.
Storytime and singing time, part of our nightly bedtime routine, were a lot better. Bev picked up a book of fairy tales the other day and Harry loves the Little Mermaid and The Frog Prince. Tuesday saw them read twice. But we moved on to Sleeping Beauty and Three Litte Pigs tonight. He's even got into making a house out of cushions in the living room while daddy/mummy/nanny/grandad pretend to play the Big Bad Wolf.
I love you little man. Sorry about bathtime. x

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cat Song

'Daddy! Cat song please' - right there the asks of son to dad began. Fast forward a few years and I'll be asked to give a lift to a friend's house, or drop Harry off with his girlfriend at the cinema.
Problem was I had no idea what the Cat Song was. I thought it was on a Disney nursery rhymes CD we bought Harry a couple of weeks ago. I was spinning between Looby Loo and some stupid song about having cherry pie for a snack (A SNACK!) while negotiating rush hour. I never found the Cat Song. I had the wrong CD on. It's the Aristocats song which was on another Disney CD, Bev told me. Stupid daddy. Thank god there wasn't a tantrum. Unlike when I went a different way to mother-in-law (MIL)'s house yesterday morning.
Y'see MIL lives about a ten-minute drive from us and there are two routes there. If I go one way, I know Harry will want to go the other way as that's the route he goes with Bev. Go the other way and Harry will want to go the other way. Confused? Yeah so am I. I just turn up the Disney CD and eat my humble cherry pie.

On the gaming front I'm well into Madden NFL 10. I got dicked the other night 42-6. I even missed an extra point with the Dolphins. But I love Madden, always have. Stupidly I tried to go online with it again last night, but moved the 360 when it was on, causing that horrible noise that means my disc is scratched beyond repair. No Madden for me until I get the disc sorted out. Gutted. At least there was a 5-0 win on FIFA to cheer me up and a download of Trials HD which is a joy. I'm thinking of getting Batman though. The reviews are coming in good.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Scan time

Today sums out why it's ace to be a dad. First up, to be woken up with a Lightning McQueen car in your face is funny, but to then be greeted with 'Come on Daddy, let's play' is another. If you don't get up within a couple of seconds you get another 'Come on Daddy', with a pull of the duvet. It doesn't matter if the clock reads 6.23am. You're up, and there's nothing you can do about it.

This morning my wife and I had to take Harry to the hospital. Y'see Bev is now three months pregnant and it was the first scan. Off we popped to that ultrasound department of Peterborough hospital with Harry to check it out. Fortunately all is good. Bev is just over 12 weeks gone and Harry now things there is a baby in not just mummy's tummy, but daddy's and his, too. Watching him lift his T-shirt and saying 'baby in my tummy' is very cute. Even funnier is the fact that he runs to the toilet to pretend to be sick like mummy. The Baby No.2 adventure starts here. More to come in the following weeks but for now I need to pick my Fantasy League team for the weekend. Most men would agree that this is The Most Important Thing To Do this weekend.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Games take a backseat (for a while)

I haven't switched on my Xbox for about three months to play a game. It's been switched on to watch Cars, Bob The Builder and In The Night Garden. That's what a two-year-old son does to you. Even The Wire doesn't get much of a look in these days as I'm too knackered by 10pm to think about putting it on. But I wouldn't swap this for the world - the little man can watch all the Cars he wants. Just wait until I take him to see Toy Story 3 next year. Shit the sheets that's gonna be awesome.
Anyway, back to games. So, the Xbox isn't getting much of a go, but what is? Professor Layton was good for about a week's holiday and I got that 100 Famous Novels On A Cart thing for Father's Day the other month, but all I've read so far is a bit of Edgar Poe.
The rest of my evenings have been writing a football facts book for work, which has taken about four months of hard graft to compile. You can see more about it over at Tesco Entertainment Take a look, every little helps.
So, the rest of my blogging year will be all about Harry's growing up and my lack of gaming. Today we went for a walk after work to look for a blue cat with blue paws and blue whiskers. I thought something out of a Miyazaki film was going to jump us. Kids are cool, aren't they?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Down the market

Work’s been pretty busy over the last few weeks, so that’s why the blog posts have dried up. But today was a great day.
A new colleague has joined the magazine where I work, and he’s mad on Master System games, so we took a trip to Peterborough’s indoor market to check out what retro gear they had.
I didn’t hold out much hope when the outside of the unit was all blacked out, but a spin around the corner revealed a retro gamer’s delight.
My mate picked up Ninja Gaiden for a fiver, but decided against a copy of Rastan. Boxed copies of Ocarina of Time, Glover and the forgotten puzzle classic on the N64, Wetrix, were at shin-height. Safe to say we’ll be down there again to see what other delights this little emporium reveals over the coming weeks. If you know of a games stall in the Cambridgeshire/Midlands area of the UK then let me know!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Ice gaming moments

I’ve never seen so much snow in Peterborough. We don’t usually get much round these parts, but we’ve been covered with at least six inches of the stuff since yesterday morning. It took me nearly two hours to travel about three miles. I was skidding up the main road into the city centre, with a sick child in the back, and a missus who had to get to London for vital meetings. It didn’t end there.
Where I live there are two roads leading into the estate, both uphill. I’m sure the council gritted them, but could I get up them? No. And thanks to two OAP drivers, I was waiting patiently at the bottom of the hill while the traffic cleared at the top, only for them to overtake me. Old drivers are a disgrace. So I abandoned the motor and walked a mile-and-a-half with my poorly son. He had no mittens either so his hands were like ice. Sorry, son.
So the weather got me thinking last night about what my latest post would be. I thought about my favourite cakes (after my good lady treated me to a cupcake from an Italian deli in London), favourite American football moments (as I’m still getting through the Superbowl, and no it isn’t this) or my five favourite snowy moments in gaming. Here’s the list:

5. John Madden
I couldn’t find any movies of the snow-covered pitch, but getting an icy stadium meant that with a quick running-back you’d be eating up the yards. Throw in a spin or two and those first downs would be seen more than selecting a fake punt at fourth down (we all did it, didn’t we?) or a Hail Mary in Madden 92.

4. Banjo-Kazooie
Okay, so Snow Mountain in Super Mario 64 had the better music, but the toboggan race with Boggy in B-K’s Freezeezy Peak was mint! And who remember’s the hidden gift in the cave – Rare’s Stop ‘N’ Swop idea?

3. 1080° Snowboarding
I never did get a 1080°, but this was the finest snowboarding title of the 64-bit era. Snowboard Kids was limited fun, but you could never rock down the slopes as a panda, could you.

2. Diddy Kong Racing
Everfrost Peak, Snowflake Mountain and more were quality, though not as memorable as my No.1 choice. But the use of a speedboat on the slopes made for some white-knuckle rides without the thought of any broken bones, AND you got to race a walrus!

1. Super Mario Kart
I remember hating the Vanilla Lake tracks. My mum told my bro and me off for yelling at the TV because we kept screwing up these levels, with their well-placed ice blocks, or when you got bumped into the frozen water of the lake. As Thegamerwalkthroughs put it on his YouTube page: ‘Fucking red turtle shells’. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


No, not the ace snowboarding game that rocked on the N64. The 360 is now back downstairs in my front room, on the HD TV with 1080p. Playing FIFA 09 last night ensured that the Xbox has been No Nailed to the TV unit. It's never going back. Now I don't know what to start playing, or downloading. An old colleague of mine said Left 4 Dead is amazing in co-op.
First things first though, and that's to see what's downloadable at the moment. Even my missus wondered what she can play. I mentioned Bomberman, and she said she remembered that from years ago. Anyone got any other suggestions for female-friendly multiplayer gaming?
What I do know is that this DS game sounds amazing for Nintendo's little wonder. Quite why I want it I don't know, especially considering I've never finished GTA IV on the 360.