Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Work or Shoot? Still Brilliant.

CM Punk's sit-down promo at the end of the RAW Roulette show last night was brilliant. I still don't know how much was worked to sell Money In the Bank Pay Per Views, and how much was Punk just shooting off about his frustrations with the WWE.

The fact that people are even wondering whether this was a shoot, a work or some combination thereof immediately makes it the best thing to happen to the WWE since... the Nexus appeared to beat down everyone, probably? It takes a lot for a RAW to make me think "I gotta watch that next week!", and this promo just did.

His match earlier with Kane was odd. It was odd to see him come out to interfere with the Cena/Truth match in a Stone Cold Steve Austin shirt. But, when he sat down at the top of the ramp, something great was going to happen. Far better than his sit-in protest when he started making snow angels in the middle of the ring. Everything that came out of his mouth after was genius.

Noticing that he was breaking the Fourth Wall, saying 'Hi' to Colt Cabana, calling Triple H a doofus, referencing Heyman/Lesnar, coming to the 'realisation' that holding any of the title belts was essentially pointless... even down to having a go at the people who were cheering him at the time because their money wasn't spent on his merchandise.

Whether Creative have had any involvement in it or not, this was a very good piece of TV that makes me want to watch next week. It's just a shame about the previous one hour and fifty-five minutes of dross...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Season Two: Go!

Last night saw Portal Wargaming Club crammed with Blood Bowl action, as one Friendly and seven League matches took place. All but one of the 16 League members turned up to get their teams on the pitch, and even then the only no-show was pre-scheduled due to work commitments.

As it was, my Chaos lost 2-1 to the High Elves I'd so recently painted. Though he won it on Turn 16 with a typical Elf aerial game, and managed to give one of my Chaos Warriors a Niggling Injury, I managed to kill one of his 2 Blitzers and one of his 4 Catchers. Kill. Dead. Both of them. Oh, and my Killer, Scoring, MVPing Beastman is now Agility 4. Woo-hoo!

This match went fairly well, yet fairly badly, for both of us. We both had just 11 players, opting for more re-rolls (three in his case, four in mine), and quickly I was down to 8 men on the pitch. The Chaos held their own when short-handed, however, giving me hope for the future that I'm managing to learn to play them a little better. A Chaos Warrior down for a match against Necro won't be too great, but at least I can afford another Beastman to save any loners. Or, should I pick up an Apothecary and get the Loner anyway?

Either way, the Inevitable City Colts start with a 2-1 loss to the Multiple Scoregasms. Elsewhere in the Iceman Division (the other Divisions being Angel, Beast and Cyclops) there was a real slobberknocker of a match between Orcs and Norse, and the last time I looked they were at 0-0 with about half the teams in the KO'd and D&I boxes.

Wood Elves (Harry's Got Wood) and Gobbos (Trickygitz) fought out a 2-2 draw, and Necro drew with Nurgle 1-1. Slann demolished last year's League champion, who was starting with a fresh Dwarf team, 3-1. This included a strength-broken Dwarf Blitzer. Khemri had the edge over Undead, 2-1, while our second High Elf team breezed past our second Orc team (and Season 1 Wooden Spoon winner) 4-0.

The friendly match saw Roy's Ogres bash Tom's Chaos Dwarfs 2-0, including casualties against a Minotaur, a Bull Centaur and a single Ogre. Plus a Snotling died, but that's only 20k down the drain, at least. Next up are the first round of inter-divisional matches, as the top, two middle and bottom ranked teams from each group go to play a similarly-matched opponent!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Longwinded but not too horrible

The only problem with my phone - before I dropped it, of course - was the fact that it developed an overheating problem.

Whenever I was on the phone for about half an hour, or was using wi-fi for about ten minutes, or using data roaming for around two minutes, the phone would become too host, switch itself off and attempt to re-start. It would then re-start again, having not cooled down, and go into an endless cycle of start-up, overheat and reset.

The only way to stop it is to pop the back cover off, take out the battery, and wait for the phone to cool down. It wasn't the battery that was getting hot, but the guts of the phone itself, heating up both the SIM Card and SD Card. This was annoying, but I could get round it (by basically not being on the internet at all outside of a wi-fi connection). Then I dropped it on the floor, and with a massive   crack across the screen, have to get a new one by claiming on the insurance.

So I ring up 02, who eventually tell me that my insurance is actually with Carphone Warehouse and that I should go to them. So I ring up CPW and they say I need to go into a store. So I go into a store, and they tell me that my insurance is for my previous phone, a Motorola K1, and doesn't cover the Desire.


But, I say, I asked a sales guy at the time if my insurance would carry over ('migrate' to use the technical term), and he said yes. So that didn't happen. So, they say they'll bring up the call, recorded on their system, and get back to me.

They call me up today to tell me that they've found 'in my favour' (in yo' face, bitches) and I have two options. I can either receive a full refund of £53.91 for the pointless insurance that I've been paying since I got the new phone, or I they can raise £294-something for a replacement handset for me. Gee, I didn't know which one to pick. Oh wait, the new, free phone option!

All I have to do now, apparently, is walk into a CPW store, give them my account number, and they'll see a lovely voucher on my account notes and hand over a new HTC Desire. There is, however, a possible problem, in that the store may not be able to sell me a sim-free Desire for that price. I might have to have a Pay as You Go phone, and require to pay for a £10 top-up. Which is strange, and feels like a sneaky way of getting out of just giving me a new phone, but it's better than paying some excess or forking out for a whole new phone.

And, once I've got that, I'll see about getting some insurance on it again for the first time. With 02, though. That's assuming there are no more hiccups, of course.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Super Smashing Crap

Yesterday I managed to drop my phone. I have a lovely little leather case thing to hold it in, but that didn't help as I was on the phone at the time. Not only did it fall to the floor, but it fell on its screen.

On to gravel.

The screen cracked. Then it cracked a little more, all the way through. It still works, touch screen and everything, but a crack in a phone screen when the screen is the phone, that's a little different.

When combined with the horrible overheating problem when its on data roaming and/or using a web browser for more than a couple of minutes, this is now something that needs to be fixed.

Thankfully, I've been paying 02 some insurance for this damn phone, so they should be able to sort it out. Fingers crossed for seeing how easy it is.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Pro Painter Is Me! Honest.

From now on, every painted miniature I sell on ebay can now be given the almost ubiquitous 'Pro Painted' tag, for I have completed my first painting commission - involving actual money - of a Shadowforge Elf team.

Thankfully, the picture will enlarge when you click it. These were quite fun models to paint, and I'd figured that the Shadowforge stuff would look a little lightweight when compared to 'official' GW models, but that's not the case at all, as they fit right in, size-wise.

With painted washers stuck to their bases to help differentiate the players, a style of numbering on the bases that I've seen and stolen from a thread on Talk Fantasy Football combined with my usual style of base colour, wash and highlight... I think this team has come out pretty well. I'm rather pleased with them!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

King of Fighters

I used to be a console gamer. My Sega MegaDrive collection was second to none, for instance, with many excellent games that you could play long into the night. I was a console gamer, let's face it, because PC games of the time were generally not great, purely because a desktop PC still a 'serious' piece of kit.

Then things like Syndicate came out, on four floppy disks (kids, ask your parents), X-Wing, Day of the Tentacle, Command and Conquer. Slowly, the PC grabbed my gaming attention and console games - while getting ever prettier and yet somehow ever crappier - soon lost their fun for me.

Somewhere along the way I got myself a PS2, and it's perhaps the least-used bit of hardware I've ever picked up. WipeOut, Gran Tourismo 3, Metal Gear Solid 2... that's about it. The games I've probably played the most on it have been a couple of Lego:Star Wars, because those are fabulous.

That and Tekken. My fighting games started with Yee Ar Kung Fu on the Spectrum, then moved up to Street Fighter 2 on the MegaDrive, SNES and the occasional Arcade I managed to get to. My favourite fighters were always Ken and Guile - I do love a blond, evidently - and Mortal Kombat (bar the first movie) never held any sort of sway over me at all. The atrocious blood spatters and gory fatalities were for people who didn't know any better, people who I'd later describe as n00bs.

But then, while at University, Tekken came along into my world. First via the original Playstation (which I believe was Tekken 2 or 3), then on to the PS2 with Tekken Tag, Tekken 4, and the point where I stopped, Tekken 5.

Afte re-starting a bit of a gaming vibe thanks to messing around on an Xbox, I flicked through my collection of PS2 games, once I literally had to blow the dust off the top of the machine. Hiding underneath Pro Evo Soccer 2 was... Tekken 5. It's amazing how trying my favourite character - Paul (American blonds again) at Master level (still never got him to Tekken Lord, it seems) in the Arcade version yielded a victory, while then trying someone like King - who I've always liked but never got to grips with - at Beginner meant a crushing defeat. I'd also forgotten about the costume customisation of fighters, something which immediately keeps me coming back for more.

And now, with plans afoot for an Xbox (mostly for the Kinect, really) I see that Tekken 6 is available for... Xbox. And so will the Tekken Vs Streetfighter (and vice versa) games. Ohhhhhh yeaaaaah! Something for the shopping list later, definitely. Tekken is still the greatest of fighting games.

But, as good as these new games can look, move, sound and immerse you, will they ever beat the simple fun of Yie Ar Kung-Fu?

Yes, yes they have. Repeatedly. Technology marches onwards!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Internet Fame at Last! Kinda.

For those coming via Three Die Block's episode link, or Zlurpcast's tweet, here are some quick links to my two NAF Championship blog posts:

Now back to your scheduled blog post. I like Blood Bowl Podcasts - that should be obvious by now - and the top two (out of two current) are Three Die Block and Zlurpcast. Listening to a couple of years worth of podcasts each, you get to know the personalities involved: Jonny P, Chance, Extreme, Pauly and even the 3DB producer, Craig. You listen to the guests on the show talking about teams, tactics, tournaments and the like, and it feels like geek-oriented radio.

Like many people, I imagine, I figured that interaction would be a one-way process, that was until I sent off e-mails to both shows to find out if they'd like us to do any recording or reports for them at the NAF Championship - The Blood Bowl.

Both, thankfully for me, thought it'd be a great idea. 3DB were going to Skype us during the weekend, while we were going to record some interviews for Zlurpcast. This turned into 3DB Skyping us both days, and Zlurpcast Skyping us for a good deal of time for a series of interviews. This was a decent plan, even if it required the Americans to get up at 6am in order to catch us at lunchtime!

It nearly all went wrong when my HTC Desire 'smart' phone (with a 'stupid' battery) decided that it liked overheating after two minutes of being on the internet with data roaming. Great start, there. Thankfully my good friend Roy was there with his iPhone to the rescue, enabling audio to be sent around the globe.

It was very weird to chat to Chance, Pauly and Jonny P, as usually no matter how much you yell at your generic mp3 player, they don't respond. But, on the other end of Skype, they do! I had a good laugh with them all, and fingers crossed to see some or all of them at a future NAF Championship (or, in fact, to see any and all of them at all). Listening back (insert usual "omg do I actually sound like that?" comment) there are many things that I now wish I'd added at the time, but that's the curse of interview hindsight.

So, to listen in on what I had to say, go to both 3DB and Zlurpcast, and hear me witter randomly on about the NAF Championships for a while. Plus also Roy, Dave (Canteloup) Arthur Iwkpwn, Pressie and Tim with their contributions. Plus also I need to thank Tom (nonumber on TFF) again for letting me chat to Chance during our Round 5 match.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

More GW Reaction

Now here's a great video from a guy I've never heard of at a wargaming website that I've never been to. Though he takes 20 minutes to do it, he puts a fairly succinct argument - in the form of an open video letter - to Games Workshop, telling them just how wrong they've been. If you've not seen it, take a look.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Wait, June. What?

I'm not entirely sure how it's June 1st already. Never mind the fact that it's my deadline next week, or that June was when I was looking to start Season 2 of the Portal Wargaming Club Blood Bowl League.

And OMG it's fucking June already! Practically halfway through 2011, and the year has got away from me, as I figure it's probably still mid-April, or something.

This means I'm currently writing about stuff that's going to happen in late July, and it's depressing.