24 December 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas

All the best for the festive season, everyone.  Have an enjoyable time relaxing and feasting with family and friends.  May the post-Xmas sales bring us Sims (and other gaming) bargains galore.  And may we see Skyrim Dragonborn for PC and PS3 promptly in the new year (and all the rest for PS3 not too soon after that). 

14 December 2012

Driving Dogs

Bet you can't watch this without smiling ... meet Porter, the world's first driving dog.  


This SPCA* project aims to increase pet adoptions from animal shelters by showing that dogs don't need a pedigree to be smart.  Over seven weeks of lessons, they taught a group of cross-breed rescue dogs to drive a modified mini.  Read all about it (and maybe adopt your own smart dog) at drivingdogs.co.nz.

* Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 

12 December 2012

It's the End of the World (as we know it)

I haven't seen the movie but apparently 2012 is a big year.  There isn't much time left so I thought I'd better check things out.  Wouldn't want the impending apocalypse on 21 December 2012 to take me by surprise ... or wait, isn't that a good thing? 

There are a lot of theories about but most people seem to blame the Mayans ... for not buying a new calendar now the old one is about to run out (or something).  A little annoying at times, and potentially confusing, but not much of a basis for a disaster movie.

We still have the 2011 San Diego Zoo calendar up in the kitchen ... the animal photos are really good and I never managed to find the 2012 version.  I'm pretty sure we still managed to make it almost all the way to 2013 without the world ending (so far, so good).  

Luckily NASA came up with a nifty website to explain why the apocalypse just isn't going to happen.  The small flaw being that a scientific explanation probably won't be all that convincing to those that believe the end of the world is imminent (as opposed to believing that it'll get a whole lot hotter by the turn of the century).

And now they've produced a video to screen on 22 December 2012 ... "why the world didn't end yesterday".  Watch it now in case it does! *

* just kidding, I've already bought all the Xmas presents 

08 November 2012

Political Refugees

We were a little surprised to find that Australia might be the destination of choice for disenchanted voters in the US.  It all started here ...


... which is a little confusing since our female Prime Minister is an atheist. Kristen has since clarified she meant the previous guy - and then deleted her account - but not before she was retweeted 1,500 times.  

And it turned out that a few Americans had threatened to move to Australia if Obama won (see BuzzFeed has a list).  The general feeling here is that they may well be in for a few surprises when they arrive.

Fortunately, Felicity Ryan provided the following clarification for those considering migration ... 


15 October 2012

Lakeview Manor

In the densely forested foothills between Falkreath and Riverwood, overlooking Lake Ilinalta, stands Lakeview Manor, newly-built homestead for Lizette, the latest Thane of Falkreath, and her adopted daughters Hrefna and Lucia, dog Meeko, housecarl Rayya and steward Faendal.  






10 October 2012

Meh!

OK. I admit it. I'm a little disenchanted with Sims 3 and EA and all the carry on.  I've been putting off posting anything because I'm just feeling way too negative. But I might as well get it out there and maybe I'll feel like playing and posting about TS3 again.  

I didn't think it was possible but the official forums seem to be worse than ever so I've been hiding out at Simpletons most of the time.  There are plenty of other great Sims-related places though.  I keep finding helpful (and friendly) advice over at the NRaas site and Crinrict's help blog.  And wonderful creations and legacies and everything on a whole range of Simmer blogs.  This is the community that keeps me interested and want to keep playing (and keeps my game working), not the EA spin on the TS3 world.

After nearly a year of trying every possible solution, I'm still not able to upload anything to the exchange.  Except for a couple of test files of course.  Nothing I actually want to keep works.  So I set up a Mediafire account and I'll be moving everything there and abandoning my studio on the official site completely.  Just as soon as I've made a few updates for more recent content of course.

Got TS3 Showtime a while ago for $19 but haven't really played any of the careers.  I've been working on my rebuild of Sunset Valley some more and including lots from the more recent expansions.  And I imported a few townies (and pets) and lots from other worlds so I could make them over for SV.  

Picked up TS3 Diesel Stuff last month for $12 and am glad I didn't pay full price.  The clothes and furniture are ok but a bit light on and not particularly useful unless you only play YA Sims.  Wasn't tempted to get KPST for $9.

TS3 Supernatural came out last month as well.  So glad I won't be paying full price for that one either.  I'm not getting it until they sort out the usual bugs and poorly thought out "features" (so maybe never) and it's less than half price.  "Zombie apocalypse" anyone?  Of course they can't fix anything if it's already happened in that legacy you've been playing for several generations.  Sorry.  Sweet of EA to include exclusive Plants vs Zombies content though and then kill off the studio that made it.  Kind of like a memorial. Oh, and the "intriguing" vampires .... sparkle.

They announced TS3 Seasons, due out in November.  I'm not convinced by that one yet.  So far they've managed to take all the things I liked in TS2 and fuck them up completely so I'm pretty sure diving boards, playing in the snow, swimming in the ocean and aliens won't be as expected.  Not to mention that here in the southern hemisphere, the bunnies and eggs appear in autumn and we don't ever celebrate - or decorate - with pumpkins, especially in spring.

I did cave and buy some more simpoints when they were on sale at half price a few months ago.  Then realised there was nothing much I wanted to spend them on.  I'm starting to suspect that they are now testing how silly they can make the new store sets and still get people to buy them.  That, and how many times they can get away with releasing premium content without testing whether it conflicts with everything else.

And releasing shiny new worlds that look good but need more work to be playable than they are worth (which incidentally is about as much as a stuff pack).  I might get the extra worlds if they ever bring them out on disc so they get reduced in price (Hidden Springs was $9 in last month's sale) but I can live without them.  I downloaded CAW and thought I'd have a go at creating my own world but then realised that would probably finish TS3 off for me completely.  I don't have the patience for it at the moment.

So I've gone back to tinkering around with Sunset Valley occasionally and trying not be be frustrated by the things that go inexplicably wrong.  I guess I'll show you what I'm up to eventually.

And now I'm heading to Skyrim to build me a house!  

03 August 2012

Dawnguard

Finally the Dawnguard DLC is here for the PC version of Skyrim!  So while it's downloading, I thought I'd better drop by to say that I really did mean to update here more often but ... ooohhh ... look at that over there ...


(disappears back to Skyrim)

14 June 2012

Oh, Super ... Natural!

Remember all those months ago when you were first playing Late Night and thinking "why aren't my vampires more intriguing?"  Well, apparently it's because EA wanted to string out interest in the supernatural theme for several months so they could bring in as many pre-order dollars as possible with one expansion pack - TS3 Supernatural.  As far as I can work out, the only vaguely intriguing thing about the vampires is that the SimGurus aren't allowed to talk about them.


The pack does look good but I'm not getting too excited just yet, not least 'cos the Sims team seems to be more than excited enough for the rest of us.  Possibly at the thought of all those lovely pre-orders.  And it's a definite positive that they haven't tried to shove KP in there somewhere.  Yet.

Seriously though, it's all the bits I loved (and still love) playing in Sims 2.  Not that I was hanging out for them in particular but it's nice to see some of the quirky stuff back.  I think I'll avoid the official forums for a while so the pre-release speculating, wittering and bickering don't put me off. 

WTF?

I was trying not to go all ranty about some nasty stuff I've read lately but now I've come over a bit ... WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH SOME PEOPLE?

If you don't like what a certain blog writes about you then (a) don't keep reading it, and (b) stop giving them things to write about. Creating obsessive blogs or 'secret' forum posts about that blog ... and launching personal attacks on others that don't agree with your views (or that you just don't like) ...  do nothing for your credibility.

Go do something positive with your energy.  

06 June 2012

5,000

Page views, that is ... at least according to Blogger (and hardly any of them are mine). 

That candy pink stuff pack has been released but I can't say I've been interested enough to even check out the official forums for what people think of it now it's really here.  Though I have been keeping an eye on the update issues thread so I know what to expect from the game update.  Think I'll wait until I feel like playing Sims 3 again.  Gotta love the way the update notes made it sound like the game just needed a few tweaks around the edges!

I'm not much of a Radiohead fan but I've had an irresistible urge all week to hum that song of theirs ... Drama Police I think it is.  Or maybe I'm thinking of that Culture Club one that goes ... Drama Drama Drama Chameleon, you come and go ... 

Until today that is and then it was Bananarama's Venus ... in honour of the transit. Finally something fast paced and interesting happening in a live feed! 

29 May 2012

May it Be

Where did April go?  And most of May too?  This has been sitting as a draft post for way too long now ... let's just get it over with!

Well, I think the big Sims thing I missed commenting on was the announcement of The Sims 3 Diesel Stuff Pack.  It's coming out in July, just after that other candy flavoured fluff is being excreted released.  Doesn't look too bad but nothing spectacular (and I already have plenty of similar clothes).  Bad news for anyone looking for cool clothes for their elders ... the oldies miss out once again.

I've had a lot of visitors looking for info on Sims Medieval (it's finally overtaken KP as most popular post) ... anyway, sorry, can't help you at the moment as I'm still making my way through Skyrim.  If it's Medieval you're after then maybe you can make do with a few screenshots from my first game in Dragon Age Origins (bought it ages ago but just got around to playing it).





And a random screenshot from Skyrim ...


And now to end on a really random note ... thanks to Red Scharlach, who can watch everyone's cute furry mammal without thinking of everyone's favourite Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch? Otterly hilarious! 

09 April 2012

Fools

Nice joke EA ... but you're a few days late with the April Fools prank!  Seriously, we didn't need the cupcake bra with strawberry nipples.  Serves us right for joking about it, I guess.  Wait, is this a choc chip cookie  on her head?


Anyway, thank you for bringing us die-hard KP fans with no sense of humour.  Killing off Sims in interesting ways has been light entertainment since the game started.  But suddenly speculating on the forums about how you might kill off a  KP Sim amounts to a death threat.  Methinks some people just loves the draaaaama (yawn).   BTW should she ever find her way into my game then it will be death by cow plant I promise. 

And congratulations EA on being awarded "Worst Company in America" and for your humility in response.  Just the kind of thing that shows why you won it in the first place.  I didn't vote in the poll but I'm voting with my wallet since it's probably the only feedback you understand. 

29 March 2012

Shorties

Coming third in the voting isn't something you should brag about like you won ... especially when you use bribery and even then end up a long way behind the two that mysteriously disappear from the podium.

"Landslide" is always very quickly followed by "mandate".  Good luck Queensland!

You know you've left it too long when you announce your band is breaking up ... and everyone says "um, were they still together?"  This seems to be happening a lot lately. 

UPDATE: My teeth are already aching at the sight of all that sweet stuff.  Anyone surprised that Catloverplayer is hoping for candy themed hot tubs and double beds? 

14 March 2012

Saccharine Stuff

Well, I did warn you that the collaboration was for more than Showtime ... wait, was it only yesterday?  The latest rumours point to a Katy Perry themed stuff pack coming soon.  Um, no thanks ... my game is officially a KP-free zone.

13 March 2012

Remember Kids ... Katy Is For Life, Not Just For Showtime

It seems the EA collaboration with Katy Perry will extend to multiple games as well as all advertising and marketing of the Sims franchise .... not just Showtime.  So be nice to Katy, everyone.  No little trip to the farm when the cuteness wears off and you can't be bothered taking her out for walkies any more.

After all the assurances about simport being safe and secure (yeah, as safe and secure as the exchange maybe), somehow it still managed to allow cc through to be installed on other simmers' computers.  Cue, fastest patch development in the history of TS3 with a new patch released almost straight away ... only to be withdrawn when it gave away the secrets for the next expansion ... some kind of magic expansion with fairies and werewolves and zombies.  Looks like it might be worth waiting for ... but I bet someone over at EA didn't have the best week.  Oh, and did I mention that the updated launcher was then quarantined by Norton as a suspicious file?  Cue, March Mayhem sale on store items!  Look over here everybody!  Shiny, shiny!

Anyway, now that Showtime is out ... all other expansion and stuff packs are on sale.  And this time about a third of normal price, rather than the usual half price or advertised "buy one, get one free" deal.  So, I picked up TS3 Pets, together with Town Life Stuff and Master Suite Stuff, for a lot less than the basic version of Showtime.  Haven't had a chance to play yet, what with all the loading and testing and patching and testing and disabling the social crap features and testing ... then updating my mods ... but no loading the latest patch just yet. 

29 February 2012

It's My Page ...

Nobody knows where my stickers have gone,
Privacy left the same time,
Why do you post on my page,
When it's supposed to be mine?

It's my pa-age, and I'll hide if I want to,
Hide if I want to, hide if I want to,
You would hide too if it happened to you!

Postin' your comments, keep goin' all night
Can't leave me alone for a while,
Now friends of friends have joined in,
I've got no reason to smile.

It's my pa-age, and I'll hide if I want to,
Hide if I want to, hide if I want to,
You would hide too if it happened to you!

Yes, it's EA's my page and it's finally here.  It's like Facebook without the filters ... and the privacy options ... and the organisation.

Before the change, I reduced my friends list to those people I actually know.  But I lasted less than 24 hours of the new format before I deleted everyone on the list ... sorry if this upset anyone.  Most on the list know where to find this blog or can contact me over at Simpletons.  I don't spend much time over at the EA site anyway and don't intend to change that. 

I also made my page private for a while ... then changed the privacy backwards and forwards a few times.  Anyway, I've decided to make it public for now but not allow comments.  Once the Showtime patch arrives, I'm sure my game will be happily posting updates without my knowledge ... so it'll probably switch back to private.  Nobody needs to know how often my Sims visit the toilet ... not even me. 

23 February 2012

Space Oddity

Yikes ... if this is what space looks like then I'm cancelling my application for the astronaut program!


I liked the concept but the world itself is the ugliest I've ever seen.  Sure, it's possible someone out there has made an uglier one, but I'm guessing it won't be on sale for $25 (sorry, $22 on special).  Anyway, I was hoping EA had some better screenshots up their sleeves, but alas no, there's just no making that place look good.  And there aren't even any aliens.

To be honest, I don't think my Sims will ever call Lunatic Lunar Lakes home. 

21 February 2012

My Cousin's Out Fighting Dragons & What Do I Get?

Aren't those Skyrim guards a laugh and a half?  I once had one standing next to me and complaining about getting stuck with guard duty ... while I was fighting off a dragon attacking Whiterun.  Excuse me ... maybe that's because you don't seem to know what a dragon looks like!  

I haven't killed any dragons for a few days and actually returned to Sims on the weekend.  Sims 2, that is, which I haven't played in over 18 months.  So much for spending a couple of hours tinkering and getting back to Skyrim ...   

10 February 2012

Fun in Skyrim

One of the fun things to do in Skyrim is to use dragon shouts or magic to do away with your enemies in a variety of very impressive ways.  And who doesn't enjoy taking out a few trolls? 


A big thank you to AE, BluebellFlora and the rest for a job well done!
(if you are living under a rock and missed it all ... read about it at Grumpy Toast)

Now ... please let the drama-mongering end!

BTW the video is not mine.  For a start, my character's magic skills are nowhere near that advanced ... she's more of a whack 'em with a big sword kinda gal. 

18 January 2012

Katy Who?

So there was another announcement about TS3 Showtime today ... lucky us, there's now a collector's edition with Katy Perry themed content.  Yeah, she's a "superstar" it seems and that's the kind of thing that appeals to the Sims 3 fanbase.  Apparently. 

I didn't think they could make this EP sound any less desirable ... but they've really hit a new low.  Giant fruit stage decorations and a bright pink wig count as themed content now.  What's more, Katy still can't sing in Simlish ... or even in English for that matter.  Oh well, just one more annoying Sim to feed to the cowplant.  

13 January 2012

Happy New Year!

I know I'm a bit late but I was waiting to make sure it would stick (that's my excuse anyway).  I guess it really is 2012 now so I hope you are having a happy new year and sticking to your resolutions!