Noticed this video in my timeline this morning on Facebook, and I knew that I just had to share it.
Here’s 20 recent positive news stories that you probably didn’t know…
Noticed this video in my timeline this morning on Facebook, and I knew that I just had to share it.
Here’s 20 recent positive news stories that you probably didn’t know…
I have always enjoyed gaming – occasionally collecting the rings with Sonic; bouncing crazily around, with no point to the game, with “Thing on a Spring” (Amstrad game); and even building beautiful houses with The Sims; however my passion for the gaming world really started when my hubby came along.
I’ve had an Amstrad, where you had to hook up the cassette player to the system to load a game on a tape; an Atari (which I still have somewhere); a Sega Megadrive, 16-bit; PSOne; and a PS2. I dabbled, but never really took it seriously.
It was 2008, and my (now) husband introduced me to the xbox 360. Mainly I just played the poker game – “Texas Hold ’em”, and I often lost my temper with the “pussycat” who always made me raise, then fold, only for me to lose out to an “orange”. Of course, I’m talking about AI characters here, and no matter how often you lost your rag with them, you’d still end up in the same situation – shouting at the TV.
I was heavily pregnant with Donut when I thought I would give Grand Theft Auto V a try. I must have been about 7 months gone, and I felt like I had been sentenced to bed rest by my midwife and high risk consultant. I had just finished work, on maternity leave, and I was already bored with poker, Minecraft and Fallout: New Vegas (yeah, really), when hubby dearest suggested I give GTAV a try.
I loaded the game, had several attempts of the first mission, where Trevor, Michael and a couple of others robbed a bank (spoiler alert!), and already I was getting frustrated with it. I wasn’t interested in the actual story – I just wanted to play the open world. Hubby said that I had to complete the first mission to be able to unlock the open world, so I sighed, and went back to it. It took a lot of patience and tries, but eventually I cracked it.
Once I finally got in the open world, I cheated immediately by buying a few of those ‘Shark Cards’, where it fills your account up with cash. I then bought my high end apartment, a couple of cars, and enhanced the performance of them before taking part in random races and missions with the hubby.
Almost 18 months down the line, and I’m still playing it now – although I am only a level 63 (still good, but when you see other players in their level 400’s+, then you realise you’re still a bottom feeder), I’m just starting to get the hang of the game.
A few months ago, Rockstar introduced a new expansion pack – “Motorcycle Club”, and I bit. My best asset in the game had been my bike – a Dinka Double T, and I was a rather dab hand at riding it. I had millions of (deliberate) near-misses, and after I supped it up to the maximum enhancements, it was a pretty smooth and speedy ride. Very few outrun me, and I was always guaranteed to lose a 5-star wanted level from the police. Granted, it took me a long time to be able to do it, but I got there.
Anyway, I digress…
I jumped straight in to the stunt races that were now available, as I realised they (along with solo missions) were the easiest way to raise a bit of cash. Once I got enough funding, I went to the foreclosure site (on the internet, in the game) and purchased a clubhouse. It wasn’t great, and I couldn’t afford any upgrades, but I didn’t care. I had my clubhouse, and I was now president of my own motorcycle club.
Only I wasn’t.
Even though I had bought the club, I had to go in to the select menu to make myself the president (you have to do this in every session you enter, otherwise you are just a civilian).
I think I’ve had my own MC club for about 2 months now, and it was only this weekend (just gone) that I managed to save up enough of the cash (again!) to buy a sideline business. I had a fair amount of cash, and a few different businesses to choose from. I had the choice of buying a document forgery office, a weed farm, counterfeit cash, a meth lab, or a cocaine lab. I had just enough money to buy the smallest cocaine lab, as, through research, this was shown to be the best choice for generating income.
Of course, as with any business – real or virtual – you have to have supplies to be able to create any produce, so that had to be my number one priority.
When entering the black market, you have a two options. You can either buy your supplies, or steal them – where you have to go and get them yourself.
I’ve noticed that if you choose the latter, the more you do, the harder it gets.
If you’re a player already, you know that you can see who else is in the world with you, by pressing down on the digipad. Alongside the other players names, you will often see either a picture of a motorbike, or a triangle. Sometimes, there will be no icon next to the name… If there is no icon, this means that this player is not a part of a MC, or corporation. The triangle represents ‘Securoserve’, and they are a CEO of a business, or working for one. The motorbike represents their status as either being a MC president, or a biker – in that gang.
The more players that are in the game – especially if there are more MC players, the more risky your supply run can be.
There is a simple reasoning behind this. When you collect the supplies, a “blip” is put out across the world to say exactly what you have done. This is a warning to other players, telling them what you have done, and they have the opportunity to literally chase you to steal the supplies for their own uses.
It’s the same as when the final product is made, and you’re ready to sell – it’s all about timing your stealings and sellings appropriately. You don’t know who else is around, and who you need to pass to be able to complete your business needs.
My timings surround just that. If there are lots of players in the world, I buy my supplies. If there are just a handful, I steal.
Let’s backtrack slightly – after the stealing / buying, yet before you do the drug run.
When you have your supplies at your warehouse, always try to upgrade your business as quickly as possible. Obviously, you need a fair amount of cash to do this too, but with the adversary modes that are currently offering 2x cash and 2x RP, it’s well worth doing an hour or two of those first of all (personally, I find the Deadline adversary modes hilarious!). When upgrading, security should be your main priority, followed by the staff, followed by your actual lab. It may make more sense to you to do it the other way around, but when your fiddling the law, securing your business from any raids or thefts should be the way to go.
On entering your warehouse, you get two new bars showing at the bottom right of your screen. The top bar is your product; the bottom is your supplies. I tend to use the black market computer in the warehouse to give me my options, as I find this a lot easier to understand.
When I go in to the “Sell Stock” option, I get two options. Both are to sell my produce, but one is ‘safer’ than the other.
There are two amounts offered.
The lower is based in Blaine County, and is a much less hazardous route to take.
The higher amount is based in Los Santos itself, and can be incredibly dangerous. You run the risk of losing all your stock by being robbed, or by being killed… Which you can respawn and try to get your stock back, but it all depends on how far away from your death-spot you are, and who it was who killed you. Some other players who have business interests of their own could hunt you, take your stock, and you’re at a loss. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you just get a wanted level, and perhaps shot by the police, and then when you respawn, you can go and claim your items again. I’ve been killed once by the police, and they did not confiscate my stock, but I cannot comment that it will never happen…
If I’m being honest, I’ve got a bit of a greed on me, and I have never taken the lesser amount.
So far I have made approximately 10 supply runs, and just 3 deliveries. From the deliveries, I have brought in a little over $630k. I could have got a lot more, but I’m inpatient.
Do’s and Don’t’s for Dummies
So, did I miss anything? Probably, but I’m still learning myself.
Happy 2016 everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, and a wonderful New Years Eve celebrations.
It was slightly different than the usual in the Insanely Normal household… We went to my parents house for Christmas dinner, as usual, however, when we got there, my mum asked if I had any meat in our fridge… I must have looked rather puzzled, as she quickly continued with, “we can’t have the meat that your dad bought, as it’s not ‘dinner meat'”.
My dad had bought a rather large Serrano ham full leg, and although it still had the trotter on, it looked rather tasty. Dad had sliced the smallest amount off the ham on Christmas morning, to taste it. To say he was disappointed was an understatement. He described it more as a “tapas meat” – the type that you use to wrap the likes of asparagus, or the like.
I had to taste it, to see what the fuss was about. Surely it couldn’t be that bad..?
Yep. It was. It was like chewing on the sole of an old pair of shoes… I think it took me almost 5 minutes to chew, and swallow the smallest slither of ham. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the slice was about 1 inch by 1 inch, and was wafer thin. Bleurgh.
So that was our Christmas dinner… A plate full of veg. Thank God mum had a packet of fresh beef meatballs in the fridge… It was certainly different, and definitely one that will be remembered for many a year to come.
New Years Eve & Day came and went… Again, we celebrated at my parents house.
Skip forward a couple of rather lethargic days, and we’re on today. Sunday, 3 January 2016.
After church this morning, I made a big decision. I would pull out everything that I have stored in the food cupboard, fridge and freezer, and make a stock-list. I would then go on to prepare a meal plan.
I bet you’re waiting for the confession part..? Afterall, that’s the title of this post, right? Ok, here goes.
Hi. My name is Barbara. In my household, we waste A LOT of food.
I’m not just talking about filling the plates up too much, when dinner is made… I’m talking about buying foodstuffs, putting them away in the cupboard / fridge / freezer, only to pull them out again several months later to chuck in the bin. My decision to sort and plan meals would mean that we would not buy any more foodstuffs (other than bread, milk and fresh veg – when required) until the cupboard, fridge and freezer were completely empty. I mean, we’re bound to save a few pennies there, right?
I seem to remember making a bit of a blog post about wasting eggs earlier on in 2015…
Back to the subject.
We have one of those fridge-freezer combis… The freezer is constantly full, yet we barely dip in there. Our fridge is practically empty, and although we do tend to fill it up completely once every 7-10 days, most of the fresh meat ends up in the freezer. See a bit of a conveyor belt there?
As for our food cupboard, it is full. Full of tins, packets, sachets… Whenever we buy tins and / or packets, we place them in front of the items already in the cupboard. Bad habit, I know.
Anyway, I pulled everything out, and made a few lists…
The list above, on the right, is for “Donuts'” items.
Although cleaning out the cupboards, fridge and freezer can be thought of as a rather daunting task, I did actually enjoy making a stocktake!
After the list making, it was time to create some form of meal plan. I made up a quick template – listing the days (Mon-Sun) reading down the left hand side, and the week (1,2,3 and 4) across the top. I would then have the hand-written lists of produce by my side, as I carefully planned meals.
At the end of the plan, I had proposed a plan, filling 21 days for main meals, using almost everything that I have already.
The plan was then handed to hubby-dearest, to proof-read, and to give his opinion on. I got the “go ahead” straight away, and the above is what we come up with.
The only thing that we’re thinking about now is, “what about lunches?”
So, we’re altering the above – slightly.
We’re settled on all of the above as meals, but we’re now not limiting ourselves to only having (i.e.) fish, chips, peas & carrot on Saturday for our evening meal. I mean, what is we want the pizza, topped with extra cheese for lunch on that day too?
So, what we have now is a list of meals. Still, 21 items, but now this will more likely last us 10.5 days instead of 21 (accounting for 1 lunch and 1 evening meal a day). Do you know what though? I don’t mind. The food quantity that we are stocking is still on the decrease, and hopefully, will not be wasted!
Let’s just say – it will now give me something to look forward to, and may even mean that we can experiment a little more, as we’re going to have a “blank canvas” every time we need to go food shopping.
I’ve neglected this blog a little recently, so I think it’s about time that I brought a little “Festiveness” (is that even a word? No? Oh well… I like it, so I’m going to use it anyway) to you, in the form of a list! Afterall, who doesn’t love a good list? 🙂
Christmas just isn’t the same nowadays is it? We find it very difficult to feel that magic we felt as kids. The whole experience has changed so much over the last couple of decades, with Internet shopping, a million TV channels and a whole host of electronic gadgetry available to us, it’s easy to forget the simpler times.
In no particular order, let’s give you my top ten reasons as to why Christmas was so much better in the 80’s.
With no internet or smartphones the only way to find out what was coming up on TV was on teletext or in TV listing mags. The TV Times and Radio Times were the go to TV guides and of course, back in the day, you had to buy both to know what was on all the channels. When the bumper Christmas Edition was released no one could stop us sitting and circling everything we were going to watch over the festive period.
2. Selection boxes
Let’s face it they were just better back then. The bars were bigger, they tasted better and they had some awesome treats inside! Oh, you also definitely got your moneys’ worth.
3. The Argos catalogue
The Argos catalogue, or any other catalogue for that matter (remember Index?!). We couldn’t browse the internet back then so this is what we used to find things to put on our list for Santa!
4. The music
At least we had a couple of REAL Christmas N0.1’s in the 80s! The charts were filled with Christmas classics from Shakin’ Stevens, The Pogues, Band Aid, Paul McCartney and Wham!
5. The movies
We had some classic Christmas movies in the 80s. They were that good they are repeated every year on TV! Santa Claus The Movie was one of my favourites, at the time. What was yours?
6. TV Christmas specials
Christmas specials were the business in the 80s. What ever your favourite TV show was, I bet they did a Christmas special. Some of the Kids Christmas Specials were a little interesting to say the least!
They may seem a bit old fashioned and out of style now but back in the day the louder, the shinier, and the brighter, the better! These decorations were hung all over our house – attached to the ceiling with a drawing pin!
8. Christmas shopping
Remember when we actually had to leave the house to do our Christmas Shopping? The high streets were packed at this time of year with people trying to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. Shops went all out with the Christmas decorations, and you couldn’t carry all of the FREE carrier bags you’d been given to get your purchases home! Oh, and let’s not forget, that for some reason, it was also much easier to buy gifts to people too!
9. Christmas present hunt
I’m sure kids all over the world still do this, but do you remember when your parents weren’t looking, you used to dive into the cupboards and wardrobes to try and get a sneak peak at all the gifts they had bought you? You’d have to be quick though before they sent them all off to Santa for him to deliver on Christmas Day!
10. The toys
Toys in the 80s were just better. There’s no doubt about it all of the things we had as kids were well… Just cooler than the toys that are around now! I never did get that Mr Frosty though (thanks mum) 😦 Ha ha x
It’s easy for Christmas BC (Before Children) to feel more about our hangovers and expanding waistlines (not to mention our overdrafts) than any real festive spirit. Then you have a child and all that changes. Not since you were a nipper, anxiously listening out for Father Christmas in your PJs, have you felt so infused with joy and enchantment.
Here are 20 ways that Christmas becomes magical when you’re a parent …
1. It used to drive you bonkers that Christmas started pretty much in October (oh, yes it did…) but now you can’t wait for the shops to bust out the Christmas lights and to hear Noddy Holder’s dulcet tones. Ooh, and the advent calendars, and the ads and the Christmas lists… How many times have you rewritten yours?
2. Nothing can prepare you for the heart-melting sweetness of watching your little one in their very first Christmas nativity or school play, whether they have a starring role or not (it’s Gning’s first Nativity on 7 December). Don’t forget your tissues!
3. Kids make it OK to sport clashing decorations and an OTT Christmas tree. In fact, the more of mash-up of colours and styles of baubles, the better.
4. It’s FINALLY acceptable to buy chocolate decorations again. Just remember to leave a few for the kids, eh?
5. Their Christmas list to Santa reads like a stock-taking sheet of ToysRUs and Smyths combined. But it’s the ‘and I’ve been soooo good’ line that really makes you smile.
6. Thank goodness this year you’ve got a good excuse for the misshapen mince pies. All your toddler’s own work, yes?
7. You love channelling your inner-storyteller with stories of Father Christmas and seeing your children’s eyes widen with delight.
8. Creating your very own traditions is something you’ll share for a lifetime. Maybe you write a Christmas poem together, or put on a little festive play for the grandparents? Or leave one more present in the garden to be discovered – “Oh look! Santa must have dropped it!”
9. Leaving a glass or milk (or something stronger) for Father Christmas, and a carrot for Rudolph, never loses it’s charm. And neither does…
10. …drinking that something stronger on Christmas Eve, when the wee ones are safely asleep.
11. Nothing beats that amazing feeling of satisfaction on Christmas Eve when everything is wrapped and ready for the next day. Savour the scene – because the next day it’s carnage! Hope your recycling bins are empty…
12. Not to encourage your inner bah, humbug, but it’s a great time of year to dodge any tedious social engagements: honestly, babysitters are so unreliable…
13. Family films are no longer an indulgence, they’re mandatory. From the Muppet’s Christmas Carol to Home Alone, it’s the perfect season to snuggle up on the sofa.
14. Talking of which, make your brood hot chocolate with marshmallows. And have one yourself.
15. Place your bets on what time Christmas Day officially starts. And yes, it feels magical even though it’s 5am.
16. As you watch them open their pressies, you remember the fizzy feeling of thrill and excitement you had as a child. And seeing the joy your children bring to their grandparents is priceless.
17. Eating together as a family is something to take time over and savour. Who cares if the potatoes are a tiny bit burnt, or the sprouts a bit hard? It doesn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated.
18. Snow is what dreams are made of when you’re five. And snow at Christmas… Cue delirious children and giggling parents!
19. The pleasure of tumbling back into a warm and cosy house after a good old stomp outside brings the colour to everyone’s cheeks.
20. Knowing at the close of Christmas day that the hard work is over for another year – and despite the odd flurry of tears and tantrums – they’ve had a pretty wonderful day. Well done, you. Only 365 days to go…
Bananas have so many health benefits, that I am sure that someone would get bored reading before even getting halfway through the list. Here’s just 10 reasons why you should make a banana your favourite fruit.
2. Bananas can help fight against depression. This is because bananas contain a protein called tryptophan, which converts to serotonin. Serotonin helps you relax and can make you feel better too.
3. Bananas contain Vitamin B6, which regulates blood glucose levels. This vitamin also puts you in a good mood!
4. The Vitamin B6 in bananas will also help fight nerves and stress.
5. Bananas can help battle high blood pressure, and prevent strokes! The fruit is high in potassium, and low in sodium, which is the perfect combination to fight against both ailments.
6. To that effect, bananas can soothe heartburn because of the natural antacid effect it has on the body.
7. Bananas are high in fibre. This can help regulate bowel movements without resorting to laxatives.
8. Having trouble passing your exams? The potassium in a banana can help your stay focused and alert.
9. The inside of a banana peel can soothe mosquito bites, and even sun burn! Simply peel, enjoy eating the banana for all its’ health benefits, and then run the inside of the skin on the affected area.
10. As if bananas couldn’t be any more magical, they can also help cure a hangover!