And People Wonder Why I Don’t Like Dogs

Smarmy little bastards….

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Imponderable Signage

I love a good silly sign as much as the next bloke. To the point of stopping the car to take a photo whenever I spot one. So of course I have to share these examples which appeared in the inbox recently:

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Love Thy Neighbour

Ah, neighbours. Gotta love ‘em. Or not. These pics appeared via email over the last few days.

On a related note, I see the newly constructed apartment block whose entertainment area looks straight into my living room has started showing potential buyers through. If they think this means that I will start wearing pants whilst walking around inside, they are sorely mistaken!

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The Man Cave

The single bloke, living by myself. I’m not sure I’m doing it right.

These came through the email machine this week. I wonder where you get stuff like this?

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The Kindle Concept–An Australian Perspective

I wrote this a while ago as a reply to a guy asking about the Kindle Fire. I had no thoughts about that, but I did have some on the Kindle process as a whole. So I thought I’d repost it here for you!


This doesn’t answer your questions on the device per se, but more about the Kindle process re books. Hopefully it’s still a tiny bit helpful. Smile

Short Version

Because of Kindle, I feel I may very well be done with physical books.

Long Version

I don’t own a Kindle Fire, I have an iPad. Around Christmas I installed the Kindle app on it. Can’t remember why. Not important.

Purchasing books in this part of the world is a colossal pain in the arse. If you buy locally you totally get screwed on price. i.e. you pay at least twice as much as you would on Amazon or Book Depository. Online purchase from the same outlets is the same price mostly. As such, to the surprise of no one other than the retail sector, stores such as Borders, Angus & Robertson, etc. are going (gone) broke.

So we Aussies are buying more and more stuff online and having it shipped from the UK or US. So my stuff takes ages to get here. A week or two. But now Aust Post is whinging about the increased volume of international parcels they have to process. Coupled with political pressure that online overseas shopping is a bad thing and people have been experiencing delivery times of 4 weeks and more instead.

The Kindle software registers itself with your Amazon account. I browse the site for a book I’m after. Not entirely sure it’s what I’m after, I click send the sample chapter to my device. Bing. The chapter is on my iPad. I read the chapter. Yes I’d like to buy this. I one click buy. Bing. The whole book is on my iPad and I’m reading. In seconds. For cheap.

This may not seem like a big deal to those in the US but for me, down here, to go from online book browsing to holding the thing in my hand and reading it (legally) in seconds while still getting the cheapo online, overseas price is about the sexiest thing on the planet.

I read a lot. Always have. And the Kindle infrastructure has changed the way I do it.

I’m not sure if this is any help whatsoever, but for those who are still reading, Thanks!

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Labour Day Weekend

Had a massive weekend with some visiting buddies over the Labour Day long weekend that finished with a really nice surprise.

My old mate Goober was over from the City of Churches and he brought with him a relative from Europe doing the touring thing. Using that as an angle we were able to talk our way into the ‘invite only’ function room at the local footballer’s pub. This was obviously where all the beautiful people were hanging out!

I was a little surprised to see 3 or 4 women wearing some sort of fur waistcoat / vest / jacket arrangement. I’m sure it was a faux fur of some description, but I thought that was still frowned upon in these enlightened times?

So on Sunday I took them around doing a little bit of touristy stuff. You know the routine: Brunch in Acland St, something sweet from one of the Acland cake shops, photos of Luna Park and The Palais, a wander through the street market and the along the esplanade, a beer in the Espy, a wander along Fitzroy St and finally a tram ride into the CBD for a look around there. After some more looking around, many photos and a feed at Southbank the desire was to find a pub with some live music, so I recommended The Espy again.

I checked out the website to see who was playing but didn’t recognise any names. When we got there a kind of South American folk style band was on which provided a good backdrop to drink some beers to. They finished up at about 10pm from memory. Now at The Espy I’m used to them changing bands in the front bar after about 20-30 minutes of downtime but on Sunday it was past 11 and still no one.

We were entertained briefly by a top shelf scrag fight out the front though. Pretty serious, the bouncers struggled to keep them apart. Of course then their blokes got involved and by this point the bouncers had lost their sense of humour and threw the lot of them out. Of course of the offenders thought they were being treated most unfairly and started videoing the bouncers on their phones. And then the police arrived. Three cars of them! Not sure that was needed, must’ve been a quiet night elsewhere? Anyway it killed some time and we got to explain what a ‘scrag fight’ was to our European visitor. And this is why you never park right out the front of a pub. Because at one point there were three people fighting on the bonnet of a parked car!

Come 11:15 pm and I’m getting a bit shirty. We decide to buy one last jug and if no one was playing by the time we finished it, we’d head elsewhere. We just sat back down and announced is “Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage; Ross Wilson!” I’m like “WTF? Did they just say Ross Wilson?” I stand up and sure enough it’s him. Playing a free gig in the front bar. Seemingly unannounced. Awesome.

Such a bonus to be just sitting in a pub drinking some beers on a Sunday night and getting to see an Aussie Rock Legend putting on a show. Especially when you’ve got out of town visitors with you. Awesome!

A crappy picture of Ross Wilson playing Eagle Rock

Here’s a pretty crap pic taken with my iPhone of Ross playing Eagle Rock. Smile

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New Site!

So here we all are on a new site! Yay for the internets.

A little while ago I was noticing that I had little pieces of stuff spread all over the Internet. You know the usual deally. A free blog account at WordPress. A free wiki account at wikispaces. A free web hosting account at Brinkster. Etc. So I decided in what was quite possibly a moment of madness to purchase a domain and some suitable hosting and then attempt to bring as much as possible under the same banner. So I made the purchases, had a quick look round for some free web styles and through up a basic, static homepage and promptly ignored it for a few months.

Fast forward until last weekend when I finally decided to get started. First priority was the blog, followed by the wiki. Over the life of the recording sanity blog, I had noticed that traffic to the site tended to arrive in two distinct groups. Ones that are performing some sort of XNA search, and ones that were performing general or pop culture searches. And I kinda figured that there wasn’t too much cross-over amongst those groups. I still want to talk about XNA and writing games, and I still want have the odd rant or whatever about anything that happens to catch my eye.

My answer was to split the blog into two and stick them on separate sub-domains. So the XNA, game focused blog is now at and the general ranty blog (i.e. this one) is obviously now at Stylisically I want the two blogs to be different, so I’m liking the notepad style for the XNA blog. For this one, I’m still tweaking around with it. I’m going to use this strawberry one as a base but change it to a whisky theme. A friend of mine has taken a great artsy photo of some single malts for me to use. Once I get the theme somewhat settled, I’ll try to apply the similar theme to the homepage (and any subsequent web pages)  as well as the wiki. (



Sampling the Kent Hotel, North Carlton

This is the review I sent the boys regarding the possibilty of using the Kent for our 20 year reunion.

Au contraire! In the days of old, I wouldn’t have to do a reccy as I would be able to give a full dossier from memory based on multiple previous visits.

So I hit the Kent over the weekend for an eye spy and to sample the cuisine. I took a few people with me to get a bit of menu coverage. The actual menu was a little different to the one on the website but you get that due to seasonal variation or whatever.

We sampled the Chilli, garlic, tomato mussels; Beef Carpaccio, soy dressing, truffle toast; and Pork meatballs with tomato (not listed) for starters before moving on to Linguine with tiger prawns, fish pieces, mussels, anchovies, sage, garlic, lemon olive oil; House made lamb & mushroom pie, sautéed chats, fresh peas, red wine jus; Chargrilled grain fed eye fillet (250g) served with rosemary, garlic chats, collapsed cherry tomatoes, wild mushrooms & red wine jus; and Cumin dusted Calamari with local coleslaw (not listed).

Food: The Verdict The unanimous verdict on the food was “really bloody good”! The mussels and the linguine looked to be very good value. The lamb pie was a rustic style, the cumin dusting on calamari I hadn’t come across before but it was cooked perfectly and a really nice flavour. The steak had good flavour, but was the tiniest bit tough I thought – although I have pretty high standards about steak in restaurants so YMMV. The jus was superb though. Overall, a big tick for the food.

Location I, who have a habit of not reading things properly, immediately assumed that the Kent was the pub in Rathdowne St just behind the Lygon St strip. Well fool me, it’s actually in North Carlton which puts it on the north side of Princess St (See attached map). It’s no biggy, just a little bit further out of the CBD if that’s where you’re staying. Cab rather than walking, and probably a bit harder by public transport. A #1 tram would be your best bet. As North Carlton is one of those ‘quaint” Melbourne suburbs with a lot of terrace houses, parking can be a shitfight if you’re in a car.

Venue The place has a good variety of beers on tap and a full bar as you’d expect. It also has an extensive wine list if that’s your go. I didn’t check the top shelf arrangements which is probably a bit remiss. The place is really popular by all reports. Even though it is technically a pub, the food is this places main go. Meaning that it’s set up to fit as many people in and dining as it can. It’s a corner bar arrangement that’s all tables and chairs. There doesn’t appear to be a traditional front bar or standing and drinking area. The restaurant area is really just an extension of the main room. It was probably the lounge bar once upon a time, but now it’s just all the one open area. The floor is polished boards throughout, so it’s really quite noisy! As said the place is all open and the decor is a breezy, minimal style with lots of exposed wood. The outer walls of the main bar area are mostly glass so I got a bit of a seaside pub vibe even though we were in the northern suburbs. And for those coming without significant others, the waiting staff are quite worthy also <nudge, nudge>.

The Negative If I were to be picky, the main negatives are the noise levels in the restaurant, and it did take a fair while for the food to come out. Drink service was slow to start but ended up OK. Certainly not in the dying of thirst department.

Overall Suitability Dicko has spoken about looking at the function room, which is upstairs with it’s own bar in this place. I think for our purposes this would be a better bet. It would get us out of the hubbub of the main area, and any noise we have to deal with would be of our own creation. This obviously depends on the cost aspects as there would be an additional fee via a room hire or minimum spend I would expect. If we were in the restaurant they would probably split us onto 2 tables and we would take approx 50% of the space, so given the noisiness, other patrons may find Brenden asking everyone how their end is repeatedly might become tiresome ;-) There is also the aforementioned lack of an area for milling around. Food wise I think there is enough variety on the menu to satisfy most palettes, the prices are reasonable and the portions good value – although the ubiquitous chicken parmigiana didn’t get a guernsey. My vote is see what the function room deal & availability is and go from there.

Alternatives As Melbournians tend to approach a feed with almost as much gusto as a sporting event, there is a ridiculous amount of choice here. Also, most inner suburban pubs have been done up and yuppified since we were all last here. To simplify I’ve gone with places of a similar style to the Kent but are also culturally relevant to 9 TAC. Again depending on cost and availability I can widen the search if requested.

The Station Hotel 59 Napier St Footscray (Actually on the cnr of Footscray Rd). This place is just down the hill from Footscray Tafe and walking distance from Footscray train station or short cab ride from CBD. Right now, this would be my favourite pub to go for a feed. The steak is to die for! They have other stuff on the menu as well, but I’ve never had occasion to try it :-) Many beers on tap with standard front bar & pool tables but no function room. Also very popular.

Young and Jacksons Cnr Flinders & Swanston. This place has been done up and they’ve gotten rid of all the old bar flies. They generally have a band in the old sportsman’s bar and every time I’ve been there recently I’ve had a good time. The menu is a little more poncy and limited. There are a number of function rooms upstairs and there is a good range of beers on tap, including one of my favourites “The Young and Jackson’s Naked Ale” and obviously this is the only place you can get it. Being what and where it is, I imagine the function room costs may be hexy, but has the advantage of being central and open to 3am if we kick on.

The Queensberry Hotel 593 Swanston St Carlton. This place has changed styles so many times I’ve lost count. I haven’t actually been there for ages, but no 9TAC list would be complete without it! More simplistic menu and to my knowledge the place isn’t known for its food like the others. Multiple function rooms with a minimum spend rather than a hire fee. If people bring their drinking boots it may be a better option cost wise?

Anyway, have a ponder…

Final Bonus Option This place has nothing to do with 9TAC but I really like it. In case people want to kick the dining experience up a notch based upon our years and station :-) The Deanery

Cheers to all!


Hulkamania – Runnin' wild

Sorry for the lateness of this post – I had an issue with a rather persistent hangover.

Saturday night was the first of four dates for the 10 day Hulkamania tour of Australia, in my home town of Melbourne. As I figured this would be the last chance I had to see Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair wrestle live, I splashed out ($380) on floor seats when the tickets were released a couple of months ago. FYI, row A ringside seats sold at $750 AUD. The scuttlebutt on the night was that as ticket sales had been very poor, Ticket master had been offering floor seats for $100AUD, free upgrades and buy 1 get 1 free deals, so I got screwed on ticket prices but oh well. Makes me worry a bit about the rest of the tour. If they’ve struggled to sell tickets in Melbourne, they’ll probably really struggle elsewhere. Melbournians will go and watch 2 flies crawling up a wall if someone paints numbers on their backs.

Rod Laver Arena is better known as centre court for the Australian tennis open, to give you an idea of arena size. The northern end was converted as the entrance with a large centre video screen and two smaller side screens. The high level seats at the southern end were tarped off. WWE Raw reportedly got over 15,000 in there back in November 2007. At a guess, I’d say maybe 10,000 were there Saturday night. I haven’t heard any official attendance figures.

Apologies for the crappy photos. I only had my phone to take photos with and it struggles with moving targets.

Proceedings kicked off just before 8pm. For our curtain raiser match, the first wrestler out was Nick Dinsmore – introduced as such, but still playing the Eugene character. He even read us a poem.

Nick Dinsmore (Eugene)


His tag team partner was the Godfather (introduced as ‘The Pimpfather”). I’m thinking that the Godfather has been the victim of some corporate downsizing as a result of the global financial crisis as he only came out with two Ho’s. He regaled us of lighting fattys and pimpin’ ho’s and lamented that his job is harder than it might appear.

The Godfather & Ho's

The Godfather & Ho's

Their opponents for the night were a tag team called “Rock of Love” who I haven’t heard of. Neither had wikipedia, but some web searching turned up a myspace page. They are apparently Billy Blade and Kadin Anthony – a couple of indy guys from California. Billy Blade is the pudgy blonde one with tats, who upon removing his shirt led to a crowd chant of “put your shirt on”.

This was your basic comedy squash match with Eugene and Godfather picking up the win via a powerslam. The Ho train also got a run.

Next match up pitted the Spartan 3000 (M-Dogg 20 from ROH) against Shannon Moore – in what was probably going to be the only match of the night featuring anything resembling workrate.

Shannon Moore - entrance

Shannon Moore - entrance

At this point I should mention that there were no mats around the ring or no padding on the barricades which I found strange given the performers on the card. I just assumed that we’ll be seeing no out of ring action tonight. I later found out that the organisation of the event was a bit of a shitfight and they were still chasing up a ring a couple of weeks out, so whatever, maybe they forgot?

Anyway, this was a fun match with lots of reversals. Shannon Moore performed a plancha out onto the floor. The spartan was playing the heel and getting into the crowd a fair bit, leading to an old standby of a “you are a wanker” chant. Later on in the match when he had Moore in a submission hold he yells out “Who’s the wanker now?” Crowd: “You are!”

The match was over when Spartan hit a very nice Shooting Star Press from the top rope.

Next match was another tag team affair, with the first guy out calling himself The Black Pearl

Black Pearl - Reno Anoa'i

Black Pearl - Reno Anoa'i

This was another guy I hadn’t heard of. Turns out it is Reno Anoa’i. By my count that is three members of the famous Anoa’i clan on the card tonight. His tag team partner was Gangrel (introduced as Vampire Warrior) , complete with blood spitting entrance that really impressed the two guys in the front row wearing white shirts!

Gangrel - Vampire Warrior

Gangrel (Vampire Warrior)

At this point we get our first back stage promo shown on the big screen – and their opponents are shown to be the Nasty Boys with Jimmy Hart – and they have a surprise for us – this match is now to be a “Melbourne Street Fight”. I took this to mean that they were all going to get drunk and then prowl the streets bashing innocent bystanders. What it actually meant was a typical garbage match with folding chairs, alfoil garbage cans, baking trays that sounded like they were made from pressed cardboard, and my personal favourite, an empty plastic bottle from a water cooler. This match was your standard WWE style hardcore match, and the finish was Gangrel going through a sheet of 6mm fibreboard that was standing in the corner (what – they couldn’t find a table) and then a double baking tray whack over the head from Knobs. Sags looked in pretty good nick here – maybe even better than his ‘prime’. Knobs on the other hand looked like he had just swallowed a sheep. It was good to see Jimmy Hart and the megaphone again. Funny bit after the match, Sags is on the second rope celebrating, which Knobs sees and goes to do the same, then thinks the better of it and backs away from the corner.

Nasty Boys celebrate the win

Yes that's a mop

Our next match was Heidenreich versus Brutus ‘the Barber’ Beefcake – again with Jimmy Hart in his corner.

Brutus Beefcake - entrance


This match was about what you’d expect with Bruti winning via the sleeper hold! Heidenreich was still sporting the road warrior style mohawk (no face paint) but Brutus wants to cut some hair. The ref interferes and Heidenreich escapes. Bruti then turns on the ref who is sporting a reasonable pony tail and goes to work with a little trim. He probably left enough behind for the next three shows.

At this point we had a 15-20 minute intermission.

First up out of the break was a bikini contest featuring Lacie Von Erich, Koa Marie Turner and the Godfather’s two Ho’s. I’m guessing that as Lacie’s signed with TNA, she isn’t allowed to wrestle outside of that. Otherwise I don’t really see the point of bringing her out here just for this. Naturally the Godfather is overseeing proceedings.

Anyway, Lacie wins, possibly because she is blonde and had the biggest boobs. I took way too many photos of this.

Bikini Contest

Bikini Contest

After this, Ric Flair came up on the big screen and cut a pretty damn good promo about the match and wrestling in Melbourne. Woooo!

Next match up was a singles affair between Sean Morley (Val Venus) and Ken Anderson (Mr. Kennedy).

Val Venus

Val Venus and towel

Val was still wearing ‘Venus’ trunks and called us all inbreds – the dastardly heel.

This match was pretty much WWE main event style, but after the awesome Flair promo it fell pretty flat. Also, I got the impression that this was the first time Val had been off the couch since the WWE finished him up. So the match flow was couple of moves, rest hold, flurry of punches, rest hold, etc. up until the finishing sequence. Maybe my expectations had snuck up a little bit as these two were only recently employed with the E and IMO reasonable performers.

Kennedy was doing the same schtick, but Mr Anderson doesn’t have the same ring to it. The crowd was doing a heap of helping out with his catch phrase – using Kennedy instead – forcing Anderson to say “no, no Kennedy’s dead”. A bit of humour when Kennedy reaches for the mike to descend, but we don’t have one of those and he looked kinda disappointed when the announcer stuck the regular mike in his face.

The finish was Val going for the money shot, but no one home, allowing Ken to hit the mike check for the win. A good finish to a match that was unfortunately a bit boring.

Next up – another tag team match-up, with Too Cool pitted against Orlando Jordan and Umaga (introduced as Ed Fatu).

This match was purely the structural device for a series of arse jokes and it was a lot of fun. Orlando Jordan was in great condition and Grand Master Sexay was as entertaining as hell. He’s not the svelte cruiserweight he once was, but I wish he still had a job. More entertaining than half the loads running round the E at the moment. Getting freaked out by Rikishi’s arse, doing bad white man dancing, pants that kept falling down. All good slapstick stuff. Rikishi is huge. He made Umaga look small(er). Sexay and Jordan did most of the work in this match with the Samoans hot tagging for the power spots. Finish was OJ eating a stinkface (like it was going to be anything else). A fun little match.

Rikishi Stinkface on Orlando Jordan


But we’re not done, because Rikishi wants to leave, but Grand Master wants to dance. Eventually Grand Master and the crowd get their way, Rikishi is back in, and the lights go down. The ref steps in to the Scotty role, even attempting the worlds worst worm.

Too Cool

Dance Time! (cross genre joke in there)

And now it’s time for the main event. The Nature Boy makes his way to the ring.

Nature Boy

The Nature Boy

The Hulkster comes on the big screen and cuts one of his bizarre promos. Not quite Wrestlemania IV bizarre, but reasonably weird, and then heads to the ring.

There was an absolute tool sitting in one of the front row ($750) seats who had been pissing off everybody around him all night, getting more and more abusive as the night went on and getting in everybody’s way. I think he was one of those special people to whom wrestling is still real. He was decked out in full Hogan regalia, complete with replica belts (2). Unfortunately in Melbourne these days, event security seems to be strictly the purview of men in their 60′s who are completely unable to handle any trouble when it occurs (refer to brawl at Akon concert). So this guy was just ignoring security and continuing on being a pillock until a very large (about the build of Bam Bam Bigelow) member of the crowd grabbed him and forcibly sat him down, so of course then this dude wants to fight. Security then starts to get their act together and throws the bloke out. Even though there was only one of him, and he was pretty small, it still took 8 security blokes to get him out. They come back to get the big guy and he just waves them away. I’m thinking there is no way they will be able to shift him if he doesn’t want to move. Flair was leaning over the top rope watching the whole thing, and then turns back to our side and rolls his eyes and shakes his head.

By now, the Hulksters on his way to the ring.

Hulk Hogan

The Hulkster

The match flow was as expected, with most of the major spots getting a mention:

  • Test of strength, shoulder blocks, posing,
  • Nutshot reversal – advantage Flair
  • Flair working the knee, chop blocks,
  • Figure 4 leglock (for some reason Lacie Von Erich comes out to ringside)
  • Figure 4 reversal
  • Flair going to the top rope and getting caught
  • Hogan standing on the second rope for the 9 punch + bite, followed by,
  • The Flair flop
  • The awkward back body drop where Flair lands on his side,
  • Hogan blading,
  • Flair blading bigger than Hogan
  • Beating with the weight lifters belt
  • Hulking up and finger pointing,
  • Big Boot finish.

The only noticeable absence was the legdrop o’ doom, which annoyed some people, but if Hogan’s had, or needs, a hip replacement, I can understand him not doing it. So to hell with what the bogans think.

Flair hooking up the Figure 4

The Figure 4

Hulk Hogan wearing the crimson mask

Hulk Hogan wearing the crimson mask

Flair bloodied up and Hogan hulking up

Flair bloodied up and Hogan hulking up

After the match, Flair is helped to the back and Hogan stays to work the crowd as you would expect, with ear cups and posing.

Hogan listening for the crowd

Hogan listening for the crowd

You know, pretty much you knew what you were going to get with this card. I mean a lot of these guys didn’t have the best matches when they were in their prime.

But you know what, I had an absolutely fantastic time. I yelled myself hoarse and cheered and booed and even managed to get close enough to get a partial high five from the great man. For a few short hours I was back in a time where I didn’t have a worry in the world and I loved every minute of it. I think a lot of the crowd was the same. Even the pouring rain and crowding like sardines onto trams to get back into the city afterwards didn’t dampen anyones spirits, with complete strangers sharing wrestling stories with each other.

So yeah – most likely the last chance for me to see Flair and Hogan perform in the flesh. $380, for me at least, worth every cent.

The rest of my photos are here on Flickr (warning a lot of them are crappy).



Shit I’ve been neglecting this….

In a word, yes.

Been struggling with motivation and large black dogs pretty much continuously since July-ish. Starting to get beyond a joke.

I went away on holidays for a while back in September and had a fantastic time. I remember being completely flat and only just falling over the line in the lead up to the hols, and then after relaxing and unwinding while I was away, coming back to work and after two days being more depressed than what I was when I left. That wasn’t how it was supposed to work. I’m starting to wonder whether I should burn some savings and take a sabbatical from working for a while until I can get my head together. The whole working a job for the next 20 years thing is really getting me down to the point of where almost anything else is a more attractive option at the moment. I need to figure out whether that’s a viable option or whether it’s just the usual ‘if you change something, things will have to get better’ but will turn out just to be different things to get depressed about. And then get more depressed because one more thing that was supposed to make me feel better didn’t and that list is only getting shorter.

Anyway, enough sooking. Shit tins of people are worse off than me. One of the things that is really frustrating is that I know I really have nothing to be depressed about. Life is actually pretty damn good. If only my stupid brain would figure that out and stop bugging me with this crap.

Blue Mountains. Yep, great fun and was beautiful. Took a lap around Bathurst as well. Need to post some pics.

Bathurst - Down the Mountain

Wentworth Falls Looking Up

I completed Nick’s Alien Aggressors XNA tutorial and found it to be great value. I was intending to write a review post but only got as far as a heading and an embedded video. Here’s the video. No sound because I couldn’t get the capture software to recognise my sound device. Also gotta give a shout out to George’s The State of Things tutorial that gave me a grounding on dealing with game states.

Keen students of Nick‘s tutorial will notice that I switched out the artwork for my own. I also did the same for sound effects and omitted background music. Because I hate background music in games unless the game is GTA: Vice City.

Anyway, the current step in my ‘learn how to implement all the game concepts in XNA that I need to understand so I can write the game I really want to write’ process is to create a really simple game without the help of any tutorials. So I’m re-creating Pong in my own image. Hopefully it will be done in the next week or so, so I can post another vid. It’s ‘functionally complete’ for 2 human players, but I still need to create the game over condition, implement AI for the computer player, add some sounds and a little controller rumble. I also have a bounding box collision based bug where the ball can get ‘stuck’ inside the bat given certain conditions that I need to fix.

I’m off to see Hulk Hogan & Ric Flair on Saturday night, so hopefully that’s good. I’m looking forward to it :)

Also in the process of putting together a new PC, targeting Windows 7 as the OS. Purchased so far:

  • Case – Cooler Master ACTS 840 Full Tower,
  • Power Supply – Cooler Master Silent Pro M700
  • Processor – Intel i7 860
  • RAM – 8GB Kit, Corsair C8 1600
  • Motherboard – Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6
  • Graphics – Asus 4890 (ATI Radeon chipset)
  • DVDRW – Pioneer Sata
  • El crappy KB & Mouse (I will get a decent wireless setup in the long run, but haven’t decided which yet, so will use the cheapo ones for the build)

Before I start the build, I still need to get a new monitor and system drive. For the system drive I was tossing up between a WD Velociraptor (150GB) and a Crucial SSD (128GB), but I couldn’t find a supplier in Oz, and they’ve jumped up to  about $450USD anyway. Then I was thinking out 2 ‘raptors in RAID 0 to get the extra speed. But I’ve figured if at some point the blistering fast SSDs become available and cheaper in this part of the world, then I’ll just swap it out. I’m looking at picking up those 2 items this week and then start the build.

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