A man is not dead while his name is still spoken. GNU Terry Pratchett.

terry-pratchett-advice-590x452On March 12th 2015, I was happily making cakes for the shop as normal.  LW came up to me and asked if I had heard that Terry Pratchett had just died.

Initially, I thought it was a mistake and then, after I checked that it had happened, I cried.  I was completely taken aback at my own reaction, but I am not too proud to admit that I cried for 5 minutes or so.

Quite honestly, Terry Pratchett is the only celebrity whose death has ever brought me to tears.  This alone brought home the importance of his work to me, an importance that I hadn’t fully realised.

I have read every single piece of work that Sir TP ever wrote.  Short stories, childrens books, Graphic Novelisations of stories I have already read.  I have watched the TV shows and even the (quite bad) animated versions.  If I run out of books to read, I will inevitably re-read one of his.

Where it all started?  The very first Discworld book, The Colour of Magic, in 1983.  I don’t recall how I came to have a copy….possibly a friend loaned it to me or recommended it or something…that’s not important.  What is important is that, to a 10 year old Laughing Wolf, it spawned my desire to read in a way that had previously been left to the realms of Football Annuals and The Beano*.  I am a voracious reader and couldn’t even begin to count the number of books I have read since that day in 1983.  Too many.  I have a very large collection of books at home, I have thousands of ebooks that I get to carry around with me on my phone.  Whenever I have a spare couple of minutes, I read.  However, never has any book meant as much to me as The Colour of Magic.  Weirdly, it’s not my favourite Terry Pratchett book**, it’s not even my favourite Discworld book***…but it is the book that means the most to me.

I also remember that it hooked me in about the first 20 pages, which no other book had ever managed to do.  Since then, I have read every book (many, many times over).  A new Terry Pratchett book has been such a big deal for me over the years that I have either received multiple copies, or family members have argued over who is going to buy me the next one for Christmas, Birthdays etc.  Apparently I am difficult to buy for, but a Terry Pratchett book is guaranteed to make me smile.

His Discworld books have a world that is as intricate and as complex as any World-Building Author that you could name and he manages to weave parodies of our own world into it with such ease that you can be forgiven for not noticing until later.  Even the non-Discworld “Worlds” feel complete.  The dialogue is amazing, characters are fleshed out and belong where they are.  Nothing is forced and the books are easy to read (that doesn’t mean that they are simple, just that you don’t hit a section of the book that you struggle to get through until it gets good again).  There is no condescension in his writing (a personal bugbear of mine) unless the story/joke calls for it.  On top of that his jokes, and in particular his footnote explanations****, are hysterical.  Finally, the stories themselves are great…yes he is a fantasy writer, but his stories cross all sorts of genres.  A lot of authors that I read would be happy to get a couple of these things right, hitting all of them should be unattainable, but Pratchett managed it.

That isn’t to say his books are perfect…he had a few that were clearly not as good as the others, or were slower, but they were still good enough to sustain the series.  Each story adds something else to the world and always adds something of value.

I have a bookshelf that is dedicated to Terry Pratchett, I have even started painting the Discworld miniatures from Micro Art Studio…although that is taking me much longer than anything else I have ever painted, as I am determined to have them be the best I can possibly make them.  I like to do everything to the best of my ability, but with the TP miniatures, it means more to me and therefore I am taking far more time than I should.  Maybe I will post some pics on here when I have a few done.

Why has it taken me over a year to write this post?  Because I still get upset to think that he is gone and there will never be another book from him.  That saddens me, probably more than it should, but it does.  I realise that, in spite of his daughters protestations to the contrary, at some point there will be a collaborative effort to finish off more of his work, but there will never be another book from him that wasn’t touched by someone else.

That saddens me, so I will be re-reading Jingo to cheer myself up Smile

* Damn right The Beano…Screw The Dandy and that Desperate Dan loser!  Dennis the Menace RULES!!!, amiright?
** Good Omens with Neil Gaiman
*** Jingo
**** Yup, these things, well a much better version of these things Razz

Weight Loss Update

1446250367129So, it is exactly 2 calendar months since I started on this journey of weight loss.  In that time I have skipped exactly 14 days of exercise.  That sounds quite a lot, but I was actually away visiting people for 5 of those.  The others, I will freely admit, I was too tired or too busy to work the exercise into my schedule.  But, that means I have missed 14 out of 60 days of training.  Which, admittedly, is quite a lot now that I come to look at it.

I have cheated on my diet for exactly 8 meals (which includes my time away visiting, which accounts for 6 of those).  I don’t include the fact that I still go out for a drink once a week or once a fortnight.

All in all, I seem to have struck a successful balance.

As I write this I have now lost exactly 18 kilos in 60 days.  If that seems a lot, it is.  That said, I have done it the right way and I plan to keep doing it.  I said that I needed to lose 35 kilos to get down to a bizarrely low weight that I can’t imagine getting to.  I have set myself a target of 22 kilos to lose.  #1 that seems a little more realistic and #2 gets me down to the same weight I remember being at my fittest (around age 18).  If I am not happy with how I look, then I will keep going for a bit longer.  Who knows, maybe I will end up losing the full 35 kilos….I doubt it, but who knows.

I had a job interview today and put my suit on (as you do).  Without the belt, my trousers literally fell off.  With the belt, I had to bunch them up a ridiculous amount.  It’s a great feeling.  Except when I caught a glimpse of myself in a window and noticed that I looked like a kid wearing his Dads suit..I ended up apologising for looking ridiculous to the people interviewing me.  I think it went well though Grin

I have dropped 2 jeans sizes and have officially run out of clothes that “used to fit me” and am now moving into the territory of having to replace everything.  My, formerly, perfect fit T-Shirts (most of which I absolutely love btw) now look like tents and that means I have found the downside to this experience.

Damn, I love those T-Shirts.

Tonight, I will have a small drinkypoo to celebrate getting under 110 kilos (109.3 to be precise) and possibly treat myself to something very bad for me…to be honest, I may have to introduce that as a standard thing…between yesterday and today, I dropped over a kilo…and that’s not healthy, despite how happy it makes me.  At this rate I should reach my target in a week or so.

Fingers crossed.

 

Proud of me…

Funny-fitness-pictures-weight-loss…well, someone has to be right?

I wasn’t going to post this, but I am struggling to contain myself at the moment.  In the last 3 weeks, I have embarked on a (long put off) journey of self-improvement.  Now, I don’t mean my mind, I accepted long ago that all hope was lost there, I mean my body.

I mentioned it in my recent Catharsis post.  I have talked, and then procrastinated like a champion, about my weight for years.  Being told that it suits me, that it doesn’t matter and to do it if I wanted to do, played to my vanity and allowed me all the excuses in the world to keep putting it off.

Here’s the thing.  I am a big guy.  I have always been a big guy.  Even when I was playing sport regularly and did not have “the belly”, I still weighed around 16-17 stone (or 101 – 108  Kilos in new money).  I am a big fella.  6’1″ tall and with what doctors refer to as a “large frame”.  So, as Ed Byrne said “If you want to know if you need to lose weight, you can use a mirror!”.  Well, my mirrors have been abusive towards me for years now and, I either need to stop projecting a reflection, or lose some fucking weight.

So, while I was hanging some clothes up a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I had, inadvertently, picked up a dual purpose clothes horse.  It appeared that it doubled up as an exercise bike.  After getting over the initial shock, I thought I would give it a go.  Low and behold, it is an actual exercise bike….who knew?

After talking to a colleague at work who just happens to be a fitness fanatic…we worked out a diet that I know I can and will stick to, along with an exercise regime that uses the exercise bike properly.

So far, I am halfway through the 3rd week and I have lost over 15 pounds (7 Kilos).  It is such a great feeling.  All the cliches are true, I feel better, I have more energy, I am sleeping better.  And if it makes me more attractive to the ladies, so much the better.

However, that is all an aside..I am genuinely enjoying it.  Especially the food Smile

So, some of you are probably thinking that I am only doing this in some futile attempt to demonstrate to her that I can do it and then maybe, just maybe, I can win her back.  Let me just take a moment to address that.

I thought long and hard about my motivation for wanting to do this.  Bearing in mind that I have procrastinated for years, in no small part due to her.  I don’t think that I have ever been so reflective in my life as I have for the last month or so.  So it is with absolute clarity and certainty that I can say that I am doing this for me and noone else.

To be honest, that feels really good.  I know how I feel about how I look to me.  Even if people play to my vanity and tell me it suits me etc, I don’t feel good about it and therefore I need to sort this out to a point where I am happy with myself.  When you are happy with yourself, you can be confident in yourself too.  My confidence hasn’t been too good for a very long time and it definitely took a substantial knock very recently…so I want it back.

Now, at the moment I am focusing on the scales a little more than I had planned to.  It’s probably not a bad idea at the beginning, but I will switch to mirrors in the near future.  I know it’s shallow, but I want to look good for me.  I don’t want to weigh a particular amount.  Doing some research shows that I should be around 14.5 stone (92KG) as a large frame man that is 6’1″ (186 cm) tall.  That is a target of over 5.5 stone (35 kilos) to lose…and also, doesn’t account for what I said earlier…at my fittest I was over 16 stone.

Hence, mirrors.  If I am happy with how I look, I can slow down and switch to being healthy with regular exercise, and not an extreme program designed to shift the weight.  I do NOT want to yoyo like a lot of people do.

I really thought I would miss my crisps and salted snacks…but I don’t.  3 weeks in and no cravings, no cheating on the diet, no skipping the exercise.  In fact, I am dialling the exercise up a notch.  Maybe my body still remembers what it was to be healthy, and is just helping me get back there…who knows.

I am just happy to be doing it and that it isn’t a chore.  If it was a chore, I know me and I know I would stop.  It isn’t, it’s fun and I am seeing results…the perfect combination for me to continue.

So, be proud of me….I am Smile

Career Change

Jimmy CarrSo, it’s finally happened.  My talent has been spotted and I am leaving all you losers behind.  You will see me on QI, 8 out of 10 cats, Big Fat Quiz of the year.  In less than a year, I expect to be taking over from James Corden on the late show (or whatever it’s called…doesn’t matter, it will be renamed The Laughing Wolf anyway) and getting movie roles.

 

Don’t ask for any handouts, I am already beyond the realms of you peons.

So, what happened I hear you ask?  Well, I suppose I should at the very least allow you the knowledge of my imminent rise to fame.  Despite the fact that people, such as yourselves, could never hope to hit these dizzy heights.

Last night, Jimmy Carr came to Frankfurt.  Well, almost quite near Frankfurt.  No Icebergs as he dubbed it for the evening.  He was outstanding and, even though a few of us thought he might tone it down for “ze Germans”, he really didn’t.

I don’t think I have laughed so much in my life.  Admittedly, there were times that I was laughing more at some of the German audience and the way they were wanting to interact with him, than at some of the jokes.  Still, it was superb.  Crazy cat lady with her walls of fire and the helpful guy behind us that recommends Jimmy use Ad-Blockers to stop those pesky casino adverts whenever you go onto Porn sites.  Not to mention poor old Cross’s mum, who will have been embarrassed (and quite possibly very sore) by the end of the show.  And, only AT could go to a Jimmy Carr gig and end up getting free advertising for his pub during the gig…mad I tells ya.

Great stuff.

Where do I fit in?  Well, Jimmy likes to request heckles and comments.  To make sure he gets some, he has a mobile that anyone in the audience can send texts to.  Towards the end of the gig, he displays a choice few up on the screen and ad-libs around what appears.  There were some absolute gold level gags and comments that had been sent in.

One of them was a question.  A very simple question.  “Do you think that Chewbacca has a human penis, or a red rocket doggy penis?”.  Jimmy addresses the audience to say that it is obvious to him that it’s a red rocket doggy penis.  He then asks what we think… “You don’t think he has a human penis do you?”.  Nobody answered, so I chimed in. “Only if he asks Han Solo nicely!”.

I thank you, I thank you, I’m here all week, don’t forget to tip your waitress.

Jimmy applauded me and the audience, sensing my genius and impending stardom, soon followed suit.

That lead into a few minutes of “Was that the subtext of those two characters?” by Jimmy and the show continued.

It was an amazing night and I am so very glad that I went along.  If laughter really is good for the soul, Jimmy Carr is a Soul Musician of the highest order.

If you ever get the chance, go to one of his shows.  If not, get his DVDs/Blu Rays.

You won’t regret it.

Now, where are my Celeste M&Ms??  Not Cyan and definitely not Electric-fucking-blue.  I said Celeste….

photo by:

Catharsis

I am writing this to get things out of my head, not to hurt anyone.

I am posting it because I thought that just writing it would be enough.  It isn’t.

I am not fishing for sympathy, it wouldn’t help how I am feeling anyway.

I am not hoping that people will turn against her, I actually couldn’t want anything less.

I am hoping, simply, that by putting the truth out there it will help me move forward with my life and get over these feelings of worthlessness and the pointlessness of trying to keep going.

That’s not melodramatic, it’s how I feel.  I understand that I just need time.  I understand that there will probably be other people out there for me.  I know my friends and family will support me.

None of that helps right now.  To me, she was the one, she was the one from the first month we got together.

That’s the reality.

People have told me to hold off, wait longer before posting.  Some have even told me to not post it at all.  Maybe everyone is right.  I am sure most people will just see this as bitterness, lashing out and just one side told by someone who is very deeply hurt.  It isn’t.  It’s the truth, it’s also the 2nd time it has been written, the first I posted but didn’t share, it was read by her and she told me herself that there wasn’t any lie or exaggeration.  The difference between that and this, that was very detailed and had little to no speculation about anything.  This is less detailed and contains some educated guesses, but it is still the same truth as before, no lies or exaggerations.

So, here is the truth..not with as much detail as I could write, but with enough detail for the whole truth to be known.

Catharsis

So, Charlotte is gone.

The love of my life for the last 7 years broke my heart and has moved to Berlin.

We had planned to go there together.  She was actually in Berlin looking for apartments for us when she cheated on me.

Despite her saying that she was going to tell me and that she had known for a while that the relationship was over, she absolutely had no plans to tell me.  When I confronted her with it, I gave her many chances, even then, to tell me…she chose to keep lying until the moment she realised that I already knew, that she couldn’t persuade me it was just me being jealous.

Then came the same lines that cheaters throughout the ages have used.  “I wanted to tell you”, “I was going to tell you”, “I didn’t want/mean to hurt you” etc…You all know most of them already.  Coupled with the “I still love you, but not in that way”, I could probably buy the big book of cheaters statements and they would have all been used.  I broke off the engagement and asked for the ring back a couple of days later, when I realised that she wasn’t remorseful about the cheating, only about how the cheating had made me feel.  And that she had no intention of trying to repair what we had.

The reality is that she feels that she is too young for commitment as she had basically never had any time living alone and doing what she wanted in her life.  Guys were paying her a lot of attention, flirting etc..I guess she needed to know what it felt like.  She “Doesn’t want any relationship at all” she “Just needs her freedom for a while”.

I came to terms with it pretty quickly, and then she started hurting me more by sleeping with another guy before she left, a guy that I had problems with for a while, because I thought he was trying to sleep with her…despite her insistence of her not being interested “in the slightest”.  She says that she wasn’t doing it to hurt me, but it certainly feels that way.  The moment I tell her I understand and I am over the relationship break-up, that’s when the lies started again and she was then sleeping with this “just a friend” for her last week in Frankfurt.  Kind of feels like a punishment to me.  The only other alternative is that the guy in Berlin has told her isn’t interested anymore, and she is punishing him by sleeping with his friend.  Neither of those options are particularly nice to consider.

It always seems to be that way doesn’t it?  The victim is always the one that gets punished more and more.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel sorry for myself.  I feel sorry for her, truly, obviously she has never had these experiences and therefore needs to make these kind of mistakes before being able to settle down, but the route she is taking is a bad one.

She has, in the space of two weeks, put her own needs and desires above me and above the 2 guys that she slept with (they are close friends with each other btw).   I can understand the need for freedom, the need to “sow her oats” (or whatever the female equivalent might be).  I get it.  I don’t like it, but I get it.  I just wish she could think it through first.  She has changed 3 lives irreversibly. Mine, and the two friends.

She might think that she can have “no strings” with them, they might even tell her that it is ok for them too…but it isn’t, it never is for guys, especially with the passion and intensity that Charlotte can demonstrate when you first get with her.  Their friendship with each other has changed forever as a result of her, and her friendship with them has changed forever as the result of sex.  Especially for the latest guy, he has wanted this from her for more than 2 years. If either of them think that nothing has changed, they are being incredibly naive.

I think I can already predict what has happened.  They (her and the “friend”) have essentially waltzed straight into a long distance relationship.  At least from his side.  She will be telling him to come to Berlin, that she doesn’t know why they didn’t get together before….that her only regret is that this didn’t happen between them sooner, that she wishes she were staying in Frankfurt, why didn’t she break up with me earlier..The phone calls will last longer and longer, all night sometimes.  They are probably at the “deep feelings” stage, you know the ones where you are talking about love without wanting to use the word, although to be honest they may even have said they love each other by now (after all, they have been together 2 weeks now).  They will be talking about falling hard and it being unexpected.  I have seen her song posts (and yes, understood the lyrics..even the very obvious Fuck You song she posted just after she left), the transparent liking of things that relate to his nickname and the very obvious in-jokes between them.

Why am I speculating?  I don’t know, to be right I suppose..to try and make sense of what has happened.  To try and stir up feelings of anger and outrage that will help me get through it all and come out the other side.  I know it isn’t healthy, anger never is, but numbness and depression are far worse, at least to me.  Being right about these things also means that I do know her and that the last few years held some truth at least.

I see the identical start to their relationship now … identical to our start. I think part of what really hurts is that I allowed her to convince me it was real, that our relationship beginning was as unique to her as it was to me. Realising now that it was a lie, that she fell for me how she falls for anyone she falls for, hurts. It hurts my pride and it hurts me deeper than I can possibly explain.  Having to see our relationship play out, but with someone else in the leading role….it’s too much.

I think that she needs to know that people want her and value her.  Just not me, unfortunately.  Maybe that is why she slept with her “friend” before she left.  She thought he was into her for over 2 years, she probably wouldn’t want to leave the city without seeing if she was right.  She actually asked me not to tell him that she had cheated on me with his mate because “It would break his heart”.  If you can believe that.

I am pretty certain that she will also be in touch with the other guy as soon as she gets to Berlin, just to see if she can keep that attraction going too.  That’s the bit I don’t understand, she is hurting people around her and, ultimately, herself.  I do, however, suspect that he won’t be interested and that she will be focusing on “the friend”.

The trouble is, in the short amount of time it took me to reach an understanding of what had happened, and come to the conclusion that having her in my life as a friend was more important to me than my own values about fidelity, she was constantly lying.  Lying about stupid things too…telling me things that she didn’t need to tell me, only for me to then see that they were lies a couple of days later.  On some level, she doesn’t place any value on me in relation to her life and for some reason she is determined to hurt me.  I think it may be that, subconsciously, it hurt her that I was able to deal with it so quickly.  I don’t know, I don’t want to know, I just know how it feels.

I was a good boyfriend/fiance.  I was caring, loving, supportive, understanding and patient.  Don’t get me wrong, I was never perfect…my occasional bursts of, now understandable, jealousy about contact with guys (one of which being the guy she ended up sleeping with before she left…..) were not great, there were other things too, I talked about wanting to do things and never got to them.  My procrastination in recent years is my biggest failing as a person to me and probably contributed greatly to her feelings changing towards me.  I was far from perfect, but I never lied to her and everything I did was for her and us.

I also, probably, gave too much of myself.  I stopped going out, stopped having any life outside of us and, whilst she wanted and even encouraged that, that wasn’t what she needed.  I can honestly say that I almost forced her to take me for granted.  I’m not excusing her actions, nor taking any blame for them, but it is a fact that I can’t ignore.

The flip side is also true, she gave all of those things to me, but she never dropped her social connections like me, nor made any attempt to (I wouldn’t have wanted her to by the way).  She did try to bring me along and involve me in her social life, which I did…this ended up reinforcing, in my mind, that what I was doing was right.

It wasn’t, and I have learned a valuable lesson I suppose.

I still care about her, I think I always will.  Who knows?  Maybe in the future she will realise that I do have value in her life and reach out with honesty and want some kind of connection.  Right now, I seriously doubt it, but I can’t see a day where I wouldn’t want that if it happened.

I don’t blame her for wanting what she wants, I don’t blame her for wanting to break up with me.  I blame her for choosing the lowest, worst and most humiliating way possible to go about it.  I blame her for cheating and lying and hurting me when all I have done is love her.  I blame her for not being the person I thought she was, the person I fell in love with, the person I still love.

There was no way for her to avoid hurting me.  She wants different things, and that was always going to hurt.  She didn’t need to add betrayal and throw the last 7 years with me in my face.  She didn’t need to make it worse in the last week with her “just a friend”, she could have been compassionate, instead she was selfish, childish and cruel.  Telling me how amazing the sex is with him for example.  That hurts most of all, because I know that isn’t her.  I have seen who she can be when she wants to and, this person that hurts someone close and then kicks them over and over again when they are down, this person is not her. I hope she realises that sooner rather than later.

I hope Berlin is a success for her, I hope she finds what she wants and I hope she can be happy.  I still want that for her.

I wish I could say that she can’t hurt me anymore, that I am done, that I have let everything go.

I can’t.

I miss her.

Sodding Typical

M802OAN-1 310312 CPSSo, you have a car…it’s not great, but you can’t really afford anything else and you only really use it to potter around town in.  Every now and then, you look to see what else is out there…even though you can’t justify the outlay, not even for a cheap one.

You see hundreds of the damn things, within your theoretical price range.  All of them, arguably, better than what you have.  You consider it briefly, and then realise that it’s stupid as you already have a perfectly serviceable car.

Fast forward to getting a job that you won’t be able to get to without a car and, you can probably already guess, your perfectly serviceable car becomes less than perfect and most definitely un-serviceable and you find yourself looking for any one of these hundreds of cars.

In the last week, I have seen around 4 or 5 cars that fit my needs and they are all adverts that have been online for more than a month..yup, already sold.

Damnit

photo by:

Life begins at 42/43….

…hopefully.

I am going to make this post public. It’s normally the sort of thing I would post with a password, but I don’t want to do that..so I am going to keep it deliberately vague.  I am not doing that so that people will fish for information, nor am I fishing for anything from anyone.

Many years ago I used to blog.  Anyone that forgot to remove me from their feed might even remember.  As much as I used to write about funny stuff that I have experienced through life, writing was therapeutic.  I didn’t need it for the longest time, I need it now.

At 42 and approaching 43 fast, my life has completely changed.  I didn’t want it to and, as it turns out, I had no control over it.  But it has, and so I need to deal with it as best I can.

I had plans to move and maybe I still will at some point, who knows.  Maybe, in time, I will be back where I was only a couple of short weeks ago.  I was happy, blindingly so it appears.  In the last couple of weeks I have come to realise that friendships I had pretty much let slide were still there.  I have come to realise my own self-worth, despite the fact that this is very hard to do for someone that suffers with mild depression, who unexpectedly goes through something that is the absolute polar opposite of what has kept the depression at bay for many years.

Objectively, I am depressed right now.  I know that, I am self-aware enough to recognise certain things in myself, if not everything.  I actually think that it is OK to feel this way, which is why I have denied it for the last couple of weeks.  Why I have tried to mask it with anger not sorrow, tried to fight down the tears and put on a front to be myself as always.  I have also reached a level of understanding that I didn’t think I had within me.  And it is true, I really do understand what has happened recently.  I will never be able to say that I agree or like it, but I can at least understand and try to move forward.

Maybe, through understanding, things can be different in the future.  It’s not something to dwell on, fixate on or even hope for, but it could happen and, just that faint possibility makes me smile regardless of how I may or may not feel in the future.  It’s weird, anyone that knows me and that knows what has been happening, would not expect that sentence from me.  Neither would I to tell the truth, but I agree with it, and I find it changing my previous (and long held) attitude about certain things.

2 days ago, I asked for 2 things from someone (well, one thing really).  I have already been given some of what I asked for, and it has helped.

I think I asked, to begin with, as a test of something.  I don’t know what, exactly, but a test nonetheless.  Since then, just the act of asking has helped me a lot.  I realise now, these two things are not a test. They are absolute confirmation of my understanding. They are confirmation of my ability to process what I have been through the last couple of weeks and to come out the other side how I think I can.  Am I where I think I am?

I need them, a small part of them isn’t going to be enough.  I can’t explain how much I need them, but I do.  Obviously, I will try to understand if they cannot be given, I hope I can, understanding seems to be theme at the moment and it is not easy.

Why I don’t “Console”

PS3 ControllerNo, before you ask, I don’t do the whole “PC Master Race” malarky*. My reason…I can’t use controllers.  There, I said it.

It doesn’t make sense, I mean, I used Joysticks on the Vic-20, ZX81, Atari 2600, Spectrum 48, Spectrum 128, C64, Amiga etc etc etc.  Even on my green-screen PC back in the day, I was playing Prince of Persia with keyboard and wishing I could connect a joystick to it.

At some point, the Master System and the NES dropped, with controllers…and I loved them.  Then, Megadrive and SNES.  I was still hooked,  Controllers were great.  Mainly they were for action games…a lot of platformers.  You needed skill to use the controller properly, but none of the games required any level of pixel perfect precision.

By the time the Playstation dropped in ’95 (I think), I had been playing Doom on PC for a couple of years.  Shortly after the Playstation dropped, Duke Nukem 3D hit and I was gone, done with consoles.  I was playing lan and (eventually) online multiplayer and loving it.

FPS games have always been my go to game genre.  I love them, I love the immediacy of them, I love being able to drop into a game without needing to commit to anything more than a 20 minute round of something (although invariably for longer).  I like that I was better than some people, and took great pleasure in taking out people that were better than me.  The team aspect was amazing.  Consoles couldn’t stack up.  They still can’t.  I have watched videos and streams of people playing FPS on consoles and, don’t get me wrong, they have improved….a LOT.  However, they still have the same movement/aim issues they always had.  Aim assist is still an option (and in fact the default as I understand it).  Movement/aiming are considerably slower and the art of strafing a circle around people is just lost as a technique.  As soon as you can use a mouse/keyboard for this kind of game, your reactions improve and the game speeds up.

Consoles have improved.  I mean, sure, they are always going to lag behind PC gaming in terms of power and tech, but they give a standard platform to work on where the limitations are clear to the developers…meaning the developers can explore pushing the console to the limit, knowing that it will work in the exact same way for everyone that buys the game on that console.  For me, I can see why people thought that the end of PC gaming was nigh.  Devs were going to rush to consoles and ditch PC forever.

People make a big deal over exclusives and a lot of people point out that the PC gets a massive amount of what are, technically, exclusives (in that they aren’t being released to console).  That isn’t strictly an exclusive as far as I am concerned.  An exclusive would be Halo or, more recently, Destiny.  These are games that appealed to me and I was interested to play them on PC.  Even if I wasn’t personally interested, PC Gamers in general were.  That makes an exclusive to me.  A “triple A” title that causes another group of gamers to consider buying some other hardware specifically to play it.  The day that the Battlefield series becomes a console exclusive, that could be problematic for PC gaming.

Even Halo eventually dropped on PC and it was, pretty much, a disaster as far as I remember.  The didn’t factor in what makes FPS on PC different.  They kept the speed that they used for the consoles, it was a direct port.  Direct ports can’t work.  It’s that simple, taking a game that works so perfectly in one format and then just altering the code so that it works on different hardware doesn’t work.  It can’t work and it doesn’t.

If you think that PCs are the best gaming platform or not, you cannot deny the benefits of of them.  Want to play games with an old/current console controllers?   We have USB connectors for that.  Want to turn it into a fully functional driving simulator?  We have devices for that.  Want to be on voice chat with some people, video chat with another, play a game, have some music playing and still be able to type a quick message to your friend who isn’t responding to you? (I am looking at you LW)  You can do all of that too.

It can be as flexible or restrictive as you want it to be.  Run it from your couch plugged into the TV, run multiple monitor setups.  Flexible.

I think that’s the key here, flexibility.  When I am not happy with my performance, I can upgrade individual components.  Yes, PC hardware is more expensive..but, I bought my current PC 4 or 5 years ago and only felt the need to upgrade the video card in the last few months.  I have been able to play every game that I have wanted to, with good quality settings during that entire time.  Seeing as I don’t exclusively use my PC for gaming, the usage that I get from a PC is well worth the investment.

When I do game, the games are normally cheaper.  If you game a LOT, then this saving on its own will stack up over time.  Also, backwards compatibility is not a problem, so you never have to re-buy games for each iteration, or keep old hardware lying around.  With a very small amount of tinkering, I could easily install and play old DOS games from the early 90s.

I like the idea of consoles, I really do..everyone on a level playing field, no complicated setups.  Devs only have to worry about one hardware standard and the same controls for everyone.  I just need flexibility, cheaper games and options.

Oh yeah, and I suck with controllers..did I mention that already?

 

* Good word, should be used more!

photo by:

Game Servers

Newark NJ Refurbished Playground HVLP PaintSo..I talked about it yesterday and so I added a Game Server section to the website. Click on Game Servers on the site menu and you will be taken to a list of the servers that are available.

Occasionally, more when I am trying a new game and changing configs a lot, they will be passworded. If this is the case, send me a message on Twitter and I will either give you the password or at least an ETA as to when the server will be public.

The only exception to this is the Mumble Server. You will always need a password, which I will happily provide, and I need to be able to connect and register you on the server…otherwise you won’t be able to change channels or speak, which kind of defeats the purpose for a voice comms system Smile

Enjoy!

photo by: