Tag: Stuff That I Like

Does anyone play Bloodbowl II?

(on PS4, that is)

I might – might – have a slight addiction to Bloodbowl II, Cyanide’s gamification of Games Workshop’s excellent Warhammer-American Football mashup. I can’t tell if I like the PS4 game Bloodbowl II – because gods I can see ways in which it sucks as a game – or the tabletop game of Bloodbowl, but I’m loving my time with it nonetheless.

That title is a bit of a joke – I’m not expecting too many people to pop up as closet Bloodbowl fans on my Newsfeed – but there’s a serious aspect to it, that I want to play Bloodbowl (and indeed most of my games) with more people. Having ploughed through rounds of Monopoly and Mario Kart with my friends recently, I’m seeing the potential for games to be the backdrops and introductions to meaningful social interactions, rather than lonely time-wasters. And yes, I understand that I’ve come to this Earth-shattering conclusion about twenty years after the gaming industry did, but I’d just not experienced it for myself.

It’s also worth noting that I’m not a fan of playing games with strangers; I’m not afraid of people I don’t know, I just prefer to use games to cement and develop existing relationships than use them to spark entirely new ones. I’ve had an Internet connection and games like Star Wars Battlefront and Frozen Cortex for years, but have never really got into the multiplayer side if said second player wasn’t a close friend of mine. Ideally, I’d drag nine buddies together so we could start our own ten-person Bloodbowl league, playing games every weekend and generally having a lovely time, but I know that won’t happen; in the meantime, I’ll scratch my chin about the prospect of paying to play online through PS+, while enthusing about my single-player exploits to my decidedly uninterested friends, for a bit longer.

Too Tired To Post

(I know, I suck)

Riding the surge in popularity of this blog over the last few days (40 views in one day? From Sweden alone, no less!) I’ve decided to skip another day; I’m coming to the end of 31 straight hours awake, adn a day in which I spent eight consecutive hours awake, walking 2 hours to a game of football, playing for four hours, then limping home for another two houtrs. And while it was great fun, as was my impromptu viewing of the new Hunger Games movie, which is excellent if a bit long and more of psychological thriller than dirty great action piece, but I can’t be coherent for more than like 120 words tops at this point.

So look forward to a proper review or something tomorrow! Maybe!

Sorry about this, yet again :/

I Don’t Want To Pander To You, But I Don’t Want To Alienate You

(it’s those sorts of titles that make me question my policy of capitalising the start of each word every time)

There are some new readers to this blog, as I’ve mentioned about seventeen times in the last four posts. And a lot of them have told me that they find this blog funny, which is a very nice thing to say and I’m appreciative of such comments. But this has led to a problem, that I will now attempt to address (largely by using the impersonal pronoun ‘them’ instead of ‘you’ to refer to those new readers who are the most likely people to actually be reading this post, that concerns them but doesn’t address them, so that if I offend them I can pretend like I wasn’t talking to them; I’m not a very good person, okay?).

The first concern is that I don’t want this blog to be purely funny; obviously humour is a big part of it, and I can’t really write in a self-loathing, aggressively cynical style without getting, and aiming to get, a few laughs in the process. But I write about other things; some of my most popular posts have been in response to rape allegations, I used to write about Dante’s Inferno, and my Pro Tips! series, while written in a jovial style, often tries to give halfway reasonable advice, which is why I write about interviews in those series.

And if these styles aren’t getting the attention – good or bad, I must stress – from my real-life friends, it either means they’re not being read, or they are being red but are themselves so tedious and poorly-written that they don’t make my friends feel anything by way of a response to them; even saying ‘that post was funny’ is more of a reaction than saying nothing at all. It’s not that casual compliments about my writing is the only thing that’s kept this blog going for the past year, or that I’m now going to be unappreciative of people who mention my comedic posts, but this is a discrepancy I’ve noticed over the past few weeks.

But anything creative, from novels to music, has to have some form of mass-appeal, and while I don’t make any money off this two-bit blog, it is genuinely rewarding to see that I’ve hit upwards of twenty or thirty viewers in a day, and that five of them came from Facebook, so they must be my real friends taking an interest in this all-consuming hobby I’ve got, which makes the whole thing a bit more personal than getting a random viewer from Qatar. As a result, I find myself asking ‘what do these new readers want?’ and, without actually printing off a questionnaire and giving it to my friends, the answer appears to be ‘funny posts’.

Right, I then decide, I’ll write a funny post today! But what exactly is a ‘funny post’? You see, I’ve been too awed by the fact that people actually read this thing to ask what they find funny about my posts: it is the things I write about, the style I use to express them, the occasionally structured approach of my Jokes and Pro Tips! sections? I have no idea, and I’ve fallen back on the second of those options – the style. Recently I’ve been writing, and not necessarily publishing, overly cynical and aggressively posts, attacking everything from (I kid you not) the concept of a seven-day week, the song London Calling by The Clash, and hipster glasses (I think that one snuck into a post somewhere, but their stupidity was going to be a whole piece by itself).

And I don’t want to do that.

Cynicism is fun, but I don’t want to be that guy who just gets angry at things; I am capable of other emotions too, and just because I don’t blog about things I’m afraid of, things I secretly love, and things I want to do with my life, doesn’t mean I don’t have those things. Equally, too much cynicism results in distance: I have friends who like The Clash, and who wear hipster glasses, sometimes single friends who cover both options, and I don’t want to start tearing into things that people enjoy, and are proud of enjoying, just because I think (I don’t even know for sure) that my little blue bar of views on the ‘stats’ graph will be a few centimetres taller.

I’ve always maintained that this blog is for whatever the Hell I want it to be, and if you don’t like it you don’t have to read it or, better yet, you can start a discussion with me about it. But I don’t know what I want: do I genuinely want to improve my writing, and give my opinions in a more developed style than a status update, or do I just want to hit arbitrary numerical targets, because if you can’t get satisfaction from an intelligent discourse on your blog, you can always get satisfaction from loads of followers, right? RIGHT?

Also, I don’t want to fall back on apathy as my answer to everything, dismissing other people and other ideas just so that I can remain safe in my black backgrounded-bubble here on this URL. Creating something is a two-way process, where both the creators and audience benefit; and this blog may be pathetically small-scale, but it’s as important that you get something out of reading this as I do out of writing it.

So welcome to the James Patrick Casey blog, where I make the rules and the posts, and most of the time you can get stuffed if you don’t like them. But I think I’ll play with those rules, and stop being such an authoritarian prick.

Nostalgic Shopping

(at Sports Direct, no less)

Today I signed up for a crap-load of societies for the coming year, some of which I’ll probably leave after the first taster session. But I am excited for the football and rugby societies, because I greatly enjoy the former, and used to greatly enjoy the latter. And while I lack technical footballing ability, and my rugby ability resembles a ferret valiantly body-checking a group of cement trucks, my biggest concern has been the kit.

Namely I’ve just shelled out over a hundred quid on footy socks and gumshields.

But buying this stuff has brought back some of the pleasant memories of eleven year-old James, who optimistically frolicked through OPRO stores and school sports outfitters, picking the coolest-looking (and invariably most expensive) things from the shelves for his inevitably awesome athletic career.

Yeah that happened.

But now my expectations are lower, and I’m looking forward to scraping into the seventh team through a combination of injury, luck, and bribing the captain with the use of the fridge I have in my room; its alcohol-storing potential exceeds my athletic potential.

Either way, I’ll keep you posted on my sporting endeavours.

Also, I wrote this on my phone, which is awkward, so sorry for the shortness.

Pod Fail!

(that title doesn’t refer to an apocalyptic-style explosion or collapse of one of the pods at the London Eye, which would have been far more dramatic)

I have an insulin pump on my body (that I refer to as the ‘pod’ due to its poddish shape) that releases insulin in small doses throughout the day; insulin moves sugar from my bloodstream to my muscles, keeping my blood nice and unsweetened (a bad thing) and my muscles nice and energetic (a good thing).

However, today the pod came off, while I was playing football in weather best described as ‘eyeball-meltingly hot’ (or at least ‘adhesive backing-meltingly hot’), so I wasn’t receiving insulin; in theory, my blood sugar level shouldn’t have risen, as I was running around so I;d be using up that sugar in my blood anyway, and the theory was correct – I was a healthy 5.7 at the end of the game. However, it’s likely that my muscles weren’t getting the energy they needed to function, which could explain my rather lacklustre performance in the second half, as well as my lack of fitness and general inability to kick a football five years to a target.

And this is all a bit of a mouthful to explain to people who don’t know anything about diabetes, after playing football for two hours, and who are seriously contemplating impaling me with a railing for dropping out of their balanced game to make it four-on-five. Coupled with my heart pain, back strain and cut across a big toenail that I suffered during the game, all of which I will invariably brag about either on this blog, or to my grandchildren that such injuries were sustained in a World Cup final, it was a bit of a rough afternoon.

And now I’m going to have a lie down and play Madden 15, which just arrived today; I’m not ready for such stress yet.

My Body Clock’s Out Of Whack

(by about six hours!)

I’ve already talked about how I measure my sleep here, and about the strategic use of lie-ins to make watching American Football games easy here, so I don’t wanna repeat myself too much; but basically I got up at 1pm today so that staying up until 1am to watch the NFL season opener isn’t so damn tiring, so my body clock is rather confused.

For instance, I was able to read and make notes on Paradise Lost at about seven in the evening, whereas normally I can’t work later than four; I’d only been up for six hours by that point, so my body felt like it was closer to two in the afternoon. Similarly, I’m seeing my family being to wind down the day – having baths, drawing curtains and quietly procrastinating online by themselves – and I’m sitting here contemplating the debate of the means versus the end outlined in Naruto’s fight with Nagato in the children’s anime Naruto Shippuden. This also affects my blogging, because I feel like I should be rushing to complete a post, as it is the perilously late time of ten o’clock now, but really I’m only get putting my tea on.

There have been some more serious health consequences though; my diabetes is managed by an insulin pump, which releases a little insulin (the hormone that keeps my blood sugar from going dangerously high) throughout the day like a working pancreas would. This insulin dosage is called the ‘basal rate’, and is programmed to change throughout the day to fit my routine. For instance, from 11pm onwards the basal rate declines because I’m normally in bed, when I’m not moving about and reducing my blood sugar through exercise, so I need less insulin; however, I’ll be awake at 11, and likely scurrying about reading books, eating meals, or getting hyped for the NFL, all of which will excite me, raising my blood sugar greatly alongside that reduced basal rate that I’m unable to change (yet – hospital meeting next week).

So I might end up debilitatingly high, or worryingly low, this evening as a watch the NFL (diabetes can be confusing like that) but I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

Unless I’m hospitalised with a low blood sugar-induced seizure. Again. *sigh*

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

(isn’t that a song?)

The other day, I tried to buy Madden 15 – the American Football equivalent to FIFA or PES for you non-American types – from Game, but they didn’t have any in stock because of a lack of interest; they didn’t think they’ve have any buyers, so they didn’t order any copies of the game, amusingly.

Since then I’ve ordered the game online (from Tesco, saving a fiver in the process, thank you very much Game) and I’m waiting for it to be delivered. Sadly, the only time I’m getting for this delivery is ‘by Saturday’, so of course this means I’ll wait anxiously by the letterbox every day until Saturday, because they could theoretically deliver it ay any time, but I’ll be left disappointed as they probably won’t even ship the damn thing until late Saturday afternoon, and it’ll show up in a cloud of burning rubber in the back of a battered delivery van being driven by a poor bastard on work experience who only got their license a week ago, and will get yelled at if they arrive any later than 11:59pm.

And then the manual will be missing or something.

So until this happens, I’m left in the most perilous of first-world scenarios: I’ve got too much time on my hands to do nothing, but not enough time on my hands to do anything substantial. For instance, I’ll probably wait a total of six days for this delivery, which is too long to stare out the window or marathon YouTube videos, but nowhere near long enough to start a career on the old Madden game, or get into a Football Manager save for more than half a season.

I’m in a kind of recreational limbo, therefore, as I’m spending my hours playing with apps from the iTunes store, apps that are very enjoyable (Football Chairman, anything by Kairosoft etc.) but are little more than a series of time-killers; and I know that time is to be cherished, not wasted, and that human mortality becomes apparent depressingly and regretfully quickly, but I’m a teenager in a society where attention spans are unfashionable, empty conversations with friends are too common to be enjoyable any more, and there’s so much online pornography that I don’t know where to start, and I’d feel bad for neglecting the other 9,999,999 search results for whatever unusually specific fetish I’m considering getting into today.

The best part is that the new Madden might be disappointing, and I’ll have to go back to playing Game Dev Story on the iPhone. Sweet.