29 April 2011

And Now For Sim'thing Completely Different ...

Try to comment all you like sesert34 ... it all ends up in its own special place thanks to my fancy schmancy new Monty Python comment moderation widget ...

PS - For everyone else ... 

You should only post comments under the Disqus, Guest or OpenID options. Disqus registration is relatively quick and painless but post as a Guest if you are unsure about how it all works. Some comments (including Guest ones) will automatically go to moderation. Apologies in advance if this means a big delay in publishing your comment. 

Be careful using your Google details as it may post your real name not your blogger name! If you post something and want it deleted, edit it if you can to let me know then flag it and it will be removed and sent to moderation. Feel free to flag a comment if you think someone has posted something sus and I will check it out.    

PPS - A big thank you to Poida for finding the comments widget ... very nice work!

21 April 2011

Squee ... Bunnies!

Hope you have a fun and restful Easter holiday ... full of lots of fluffy bunny goodness!

It's another chance to eat lots of chocolate (like anyone really needs an excuse) ... with the added attraction of hot cross buns.  Actually, hot cross buns have been in the shops here since February, so we're a bit over them already.  

We follow the pagan tradition of celebrating spring with plenty of bunnies and eggs and so on ... even if it is actually autumn here!  Apparently you're supposed to hang the hot cross buns up to ward off evil spirits (which comes in handy for when you just can't eat another one). 

We're having a quiet Easter at home ... indulging in the obligatory chocolate treats ... and enjoying our favourite movies for this time of year ... Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Chocolat ... with more than enough chocolate and Johnny Depp in both of them to keep the whole family entertained.

Yes, Johnny Depp is a bit creepy as Willy Wonka but at least he's nowhere near as creepy as Gene Wilder in the earlier version.

20 April 2011

Yes! We Have No Bananas!

Australia has pretty restrictive food import rules so they can protect the local producers ... which means that, when a natural disaster hits Queensland, bananas become very scarce. 

Just over 4 years ago, a cyclone damaged a lot of banana plantations ... which saw the price of bananas rise to $7 a kilo for a couple of months (normally around $2 a kilo).

The recent Queensland floods and cyclone have had a much greater impact on the supply of bananas. For the last couple of months, bananas have been around $14 a kilo and prices are expected to remain high for some time.

Unlike last time, pretty much anything that contains bananas (like smoothies, cakes and banoffee pie) is becoming more and more expensive. Most things just aren't available or use dried bananas (now also more expensive).

The price of bananas is a bit of a running joke in my family as my parents in NZ can get bananas for $1 a kilo.  With no local industry to protect, bananas are always cheap and plentiful over there.

If you really like bananas, Australia is not the place to visit right now!

19 April 2011

How Do We Solve A Problem Like Claire Ursine?

Poor Claire ... she's not exactly Sunset Valley's model mum, is she?  When a new game starts, she is Jared Frio's ex and little does she know but she has a surprise on the way ... in my current game, a little girl named Latonya. 

Busy making her way in the criminal career from her start as a getaway driver, she doesn't have time to care for poor little Latonya ... only pausing briefly to stick a pin randomly in a gossip mag in order to find a name for her new baby ... and then leaving her on the back doorstep each night when she leaves for work. 

Luckily for Claire, the social workers don't seem to take much notice of NPC parenting so she still had Latonya when I changed to her household.  Normally, when I am playing the Frio household, I would get Jared to kidnap the baby from the back doorstep and add her to his family.

In my latest game, I thought I'd try something different.

Fortunately, a baby sitter turned up the first night as Claire was due to leave for work ... so I added her to the household to look after the baby on a more permanent basis.  Then with the help of a mod I made the Candy the babysitter .... into Candy, Claire's little sister.

This change was followed by a long makeover session ... using a mod to edit the sims in CAS so I could change more than just their hair and clothes.  Claire needed major work but I didn't want to make her too un-Claire so I kept the criminal career, the tomboy clothes and the short, red hair.  The basics are there but now she's just that little bit more stylish.

And I kept the basic yellow theme for the house but updated the nasty green trim and tacky red furniture ... and provided a crib so that the newly re-christened baby Heidi wouldn't have to sleep on the floor.

Finally, Candy (with the guitar) and Heidi (now aged-up to a child) received hair and features to match Claire's new look (centre) to make them all look recognisably like one family. 

So ... how did I do?

08 April 2011

Troll! Troll in the Dungeon!

... I always think of the big dumb troll in Harry Potter and not the little plastic ones my mother had a collection of when I was little ...

Yes, our little troll has returned to the EA forums again tonight with another 3 new identities (at last count).  Most people have managed to publicly ignore him while quietly hitting report and moving on.  Unfortunately there's no it's that idiot again, hurry up and do something category of report. 

If EA aren't able to stop his silly games, they could at least give us an 'ignore' button so we don't have to read his posts while they work out how to delete them.  How hard can it be?

06 April 2011

Super Secret Surprise!

Yes, it's TS3 Generations EP.  I don't think EA understand that 'secret' means something everyone doesn't know already.  Or perhaps the 'super' bit was meant to imply irony.  Also, I'm not sure why they needed extra time for the announcement ... unless they were knocking up a replacement trailer so they could pretend the leaked one wasn't really theirs.

Or maybe they needed to check 31 May for them wouldn't be some silly celebration ... like June Fool's Day ... for the rest of the world.  Actually, 1st June is International Children's Day.  Appropriate but accidental timing I'm sure, since they haven't mentioned it in their promotion thus far. 

Overall, Generations looks good to me.  Some great things like memories, new interactions and fun activities (especially for children and teens), and what look like useable objects instead of the decorative versions (tree houses, strollers, bunk beds, etc) ... some ok things like proms and graduations that we don't really do here ... and a few hmmm things like pranks and bachelor parties that probably won't be happening in my game (there's enough vomiting due to the vampires thanks).  It's always a bit hard to tell a lot from a trailer but overall a preliminary thumbs-up from me.

So, will I buy it?  Maybe one day.  I can play TS3 now thanks only to Twallan's mods so I'm not keen to add more "official" releases until I know what I'm getting.  And I'll be waiting until EA fix some of the bugs that already exist ... as well as try to improve their management of the forums and their customer and technical support generally.  Yes, I know it could be a long wait but it will be worth it!  

01 April 2011


Just like EA's super secret surprise ... there isn't one.  Not really.  At least not today.  I might actually post something sometime so I'm just posting to say I'll tell you about it later.  That's how it works, isn't it?

EA, you do know that 31 March for you is April Fool's Day for most of the world, don't you?  Or maybe not ...