Sunday, December 04, 2011

Archiving some old games

Archiving some old games, originally uploaded by epredator.

As we are clearing space for the Xmas tree it was time to archive some of the less played xbox games into the loft.
A small subset of the games are in this picture.
As you can see I do ALOT of gaming. Though I admit I don't finish them all !

iPhone case? for 6 month old

iPhone case?, originally uploaded by epredator.

I saw this in Argos, the photo is blurred a bit as I was laughing as I took the photo.
This is a real case for an Iphone to protect it from babies and toddlers. It is actually a good idea but seems amazing that a £500 iphone has a plastic drool free case. But babies love smartphones

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Forza4 epredator scooby

Forza4 epredator scooby, originally uploaded by epredator.

Stunning images get created, plus my decals got imported from forza3 :)

Amazon, Royal Mail, Forza4 delivery fail

I have been using Amazon for years, I am an Amazon prime customer too. I used to pre-order all my games and receive them on release day. This may sound petty but when they don't arrive on release day it detracts from shared gaming experience.
As I don't get buckets of free early access games from PR companies I have to rely on Amazon's service.
Recently the releases have been arriving either very late on the release day, or as on the next day's post. However this time even 2 days after dispatching my Forza4 has not arrived for the xbox.
I was particularly looking forward to winding down after the 3 days of filming Cool Stuff Collective with a driving game I really enjoy. Now the post has been and the amazon complaint has been raised I am left with a proforma "It will turn up by the 20th October" when it was posted on 13th for the friday 14th release day. There is not post on Sunday either.
That is just not good enough and I put it down to royal mail. I am paying for that expedited delivery by subscribing to prime. That is not working.
So I am off to the shops, in a huff. The forza experience is now also dented by my experience being tainted by the delivery process too. So I am going to annoyed about this for a while. I will also be annoyed as I print out my returns label and post the thing back to amazon when it finally does arrive.
Now for all those other pre-orders and major games, I guess I best cancel the amazon orders on those too! Or are they going to sort it out?
Yes its only a game, but its what I do, and timing is critical as is service.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Game of life - TV shows and Cool Stuff Collective

Game of life, originally uploaded by epredator.

We played a family game of life (not played this for years). It was very odd to land on this square, whilst not strictly true (yet who knows) it was good because The Cool Stuff Collective starts again this coming Saturday Oct 15th ITV 7:35am :)
I also landed on being a movie star and Elemming ended up as a millionaire.
Predlet 2.0 had all the children and Predlet 1.0 arrived late but still won a load of money at the end despite being in huge debt on the way around.
So we all did well. Fingers crossed for RL :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Watch out for the Common Plec

Common Plec, originally uploaded by epredator.

We are new to the whole aquarium keeping hobby. It is way more complex than just sticking a fish in a bowl. It is also possible to make mistakes.
I was concerned that we were getting a lot of algae on the glass and rocks in the tank and that would upset the eco system.
So I went to a shop and asked to a plec. These little fish each algae. The thing was the Common Plec seems to be a bit of a monster. It turns out it can grow rapidly to over 0.5m which is actually bigger than out tank.
Luckily maidenhead aquatics take in over growing plecs. I felt very guilty rehousing out plec and the predlets were a little upset as they had seen him grow up (the past few months) however it seems that this is a very common problem.
So when getting fish, go somewhere like Maidenhead aquatics, they really know their stuff and would not have even had a common plec on sale to the average aquarium owner. 5 -6 a month get taken in.
So research, read, and ask a few experts. There a lots of Plec species, and they certainly do keep the tank clean but its all about balance.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Bird in beef pie

Bird in beef pie, originally uploaded by epredator.

The premier inn we stayed at this week had an unusual addition to the beef and onion pie, a ceramic blackbird (baked in the pie like the nursery rhyme)
The photo is a bit blurred as the light was bad and I was still laughing as a took the picture

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

That's today - Getting on a bit

That's today, originally uploaded by epredator.

"digital watch what on earth is a digital watch...."
I have a super mad geek watch for my birthday that tells the time and date in base units.
Thanks also to DK for pointing out the predator style reference that somehow I missed and when I saw his message on FB I nearly spat my coca cola everywhere.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

rocking predlet 2.0

Here is predlet 2.0 giving it some listening to live music at the steam fayre.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Toasted centre

Toasted centre, originally uploaded by epredator.

The internet and blogs, twitter etc are often hit for being "what I had for lunch". Well this is what I had for lunch :)
Working from home means that lunch is often short, but sometimes requires some variety and thought.
Today was based on something Heston did. A sandwich but with a toasted bread centre.
In this case mayo and cheese, spinach and chicken on bread had the delicious crunchy toasted layer in the middle.
Food preparation and cooking is very good at breaking any mential or creative blocks caused by technology. Lets hope this one works ;)


Predlet 2.0 gets the hang of donuts

This was a magic moment. Predlet 2.0 was playing on the car rallying and hooning game Dirt 3 on the xbox. I explained how he could use the handbrake and steering/acceleration to put the car spinning in a donut.
He was most pleased with himself as you can see.

It then let us have a father and son moment as we did synchronized donuts around these concrete pipes. Bear in mind he is 4 years old too :) We were being a couple of hoonigans

(plus as I have been writing over at feeding edge, the ability to directly share the footage to youtube is really very cool indeed)

Friday, July 01, 2011

Long legs ?

Long legs ?, originally uploaded by epredator.

Sometime the world just looks funny :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A different view of the world - the urbanized redneck

Russ is one of the guys that back in the days of being on the Wimbledon project it was (and still is) a fantastic meeting of cultures. He knows how to spin a good southern country yarn but for us brits with less hunting/gun culture it was hard to tell where the embellishments were and what was just part of a way of life. It was great when this URL got shown (thanks Ricky/Andy) around to those of us that know him. However I think it is worth a watch for anyone. It is part spoof, or is it ? Your cultural experiences and perspectives will adjust your ideas on that. I hope he gets on the show that this is an audition film for. He really should be on TV more :)
It his his description "urbanized redneck" as it is the clash of country vs city ways, farm vs corporate life that fill his real life stories

Top Shot - Gordon Russell Chapman Esquire from Russ Chapman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Sand sculptures

We visited some amazing sand sculptures in portugal. The exhibition is a yearly one and runs for a few months. The scale of it is amazing as is the detail on individual sand creations.
Some were a little bit more commercial :)
Hello Kitty sand sculpture
Of course it looks like non of the textures have rezzed :)

The full set of pictures is here
The event is part of

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New surf dudette

Predlet 1.0 has taken her first steps into being a surfing dudette. Our apartment (thanks to it being our friends place) is fully loaded with beach kit and toys including a boogie board. So Predlet 1.0 (and 2.0 though less so) got to try it out. I also got a chance to get my kodak waterproof HD camera a little wet too. Having internet access and a some siesta time also meant I could play with the video and pictures just after we got back from the beach.
This was the bit of fun I put together, using the imovie action movie trailer :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's like being in a cartoon

Untitled, originally uploaded by epredator.

I grew up watching cartoons like Top Cat. So whenever I go to the US it is always interesting to see the street furniture that in my younger years I only ever saw as a cartoon.
The fire hydrant is one such piece. I see them and I think they are drawn like an augmented reality model layered on my view of the world.
Of course it is what you get used to. I guess London's red buses, or our old telephone boxes may have the same impact on people from elsewhere.
What is your cartoon become reality icon?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Goodbye Dad

It is really hard to write some things, but it would be wrong to not write about this. My Dad Ronald Hughes (Ronnie) died in his sleep on Monday 18th April at his home in Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth.
He was 72 years old and had a rich and varied life. Dad was always full of stories and humour. Wherever he went he made good friends with people and would soon be laughing and joking with everyone.
He was born in Yorkshire, as a Yorkshireman that made him always very sure of his mind. If anyone has ever had an argument with me they will know I learned tenacity and debating skills the Yorkshire way from him.
Dad spent most of his life in an around Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. My grandparents moved lock stock and barrel to run a guest house in Great Yarmouth. Dad had three older brothers Brian, David and Eric and a younger brother Tony. Together they had some great times growing up.
Dad told me stories of being a barrow boy at Great Yarmouth station, helping pull peoples luggage to the booming holiday industry places. Yarmouth was a popular town for acts too and they all stayed in and around the area. Dad told me tales of being on a bus with entertainers and comedians. Bumping into various rock and roll greats too, you name it he had met them.
Dad was an engineer. He was brought up in the fine tradition of getting a trade. He worked as an apprentice welder and then went on to become the foreman, and union shop steward in the ship building industry. He came from a suitably left wing working class background. That meant he truly cared about the rights of those around him and he fought for those rights. He stood up to the bosses so much that when they suspended him and a colleague in the 70's for looking after those rights it was a catalyst for a national ship building strike. (Again I see where I get my strident and moral nature from!)
He was a great font of knowledge during the time I left corporate life, understanding and supporting what I had had to do. Offices or shipyards it is all the same in certain ways.
I know Dad had no idea really what all these computer things were about in the 80's but he was very supportive of me and my tech and gadgets. He really wanter me to going to poly/university (and I did). That was my trade and he recognised that, so he often went out of his way to help get me the kit. It wasn't until I showed him the work in Second Life back in 2006 that he finally said.... "Oh thats what you do".
I got him into a gaming too. He had played a bit of real golf but got really into the golf games on the consoles. He even took his PSP on holiday to play. I now have his old computer and it looks like I need to pick up his Championship Manager season wheer he left off.
I have some great memories of going fishing too. Usually sea fishing at night. Sat drinking warm sweet tea from a flask as the mist rolled across the beach. I found a "portable" or telescopic fishing rod at his place and now the predlets want to come fishing.
He loved the predlets as any grandfather would and always asked what they were up to. He is convinced predlet 1.0 will end up on TV or in the arts and that 2.0 will be a high court judge. Of course he started saying that before I started my TV gigs and so he said that I was leading the way for 1.0 :)
One thing my Dad was not was a royalist. I remember the last Royal Wedding him clearly stating what a load of ...... So it is going to be somewhat ironic that the local newspaper announcement of his death will be next Friday, in the royal wedding issue. That would have put a smirk on his face.
Dad did have one ambition that I wish we could have got around too. He wanted to go to New York and stand on a street corner and eat a foot long hot dog. However, serendipity kicked in. On the day Dad died, before we knew, we were at Monkey World with the predlets. Predlet 2.0 demanded a hot dog (not something he usually goes for). He sat and demolished a foot long hot dog there and then. I remember thinking I need to tell Dad about this, but in a way I think he already knew.
Having shown Dad what I did for a living, and for him to be able to have seen some of the TV shows I think I made him proud. As a Dad you want to know your kids are doing well. I am an only child, so it puts some extra pressure to deliver the goods.
I know I was very proud of my Dad and loved him loads.I was proud of what he stood for and of how much he cared about everyone else.
His funeral is in Gorleston on 5th May 14:40
Bye Dad R.I.P xxxxxxx

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Predlets - The Movie

The predlets want to be in TV now too so get them used to taking a bit of direction and also so I could have a play with imovie we made this.
Enjoy the world premier of the trailer of Predlets the movie

Friday, April 01, 2011

Apocalypse Norfolk

We saw some Chinook helicopters fly over Burgh Castle on a trip back to my hometown

I always remember seeing A10 planes zoom around our flat land practising way back when I was a kid.
We don't see many military aircraft down south, more battleships :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cloudy with chance of fish

Cloudy with chance of fish, originally uploaded by epredator.

We have never had any pets as a family, but the decision has been made to go with fish. Tropical fish that is.
All the furry animals cause various allergic reactions, but with any luck the fish (when the tank has settled) will be a good experience for us and the predlets.
There is certainly a lot of routine and bio science to consider in creating an eco system. It's not like bunging a goldfish from the fair into a bowl of tap water.
We shall see. Wish us luck :)

Monday, March 07, 2011

TV Studio behind the scenes

A look at the studio(s) and an experience of seeing double monkey

Friday, February 11, 2011

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Taking the role too seriously ?

Taking the role too seriously ?, originally uploaded by epredator.

Some things you just have to try and I wondered what a g33k tattoo would feel like.
All in all wearing a tshirt is easier.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dakar Rally - and ambitions

This time of year is always a time for some excellent footage from the world famous rally raid the Dakar. Long since moved from anywhere near Dakar it now takes place in South America. I am in complete awe of the scenery, the ability of people and their vehicles to deal with the terrain and the adventure.
There has been a lot more web coverage this year, it used to just be Eurosport on TV. Here is an example.

The distances covered and the remoteness is stunning. There are also some people doing the race totally solo, on motorbikes with no team back up, they carry what they need. Just as there are major sponsored teams with full support.
I have managed to achieve a lot of my wish list or ambitions as a kid. I really wanted to invent things and get patents, done, I wanted to get be in a newspaper or book, done, I wanted to do a TV programme like Tomorrows World, done/doing, I wanted to go to American theme parks... done, I wanted to race in the Dakar.... who knows :)