Sean's Stories

Posted by sean on 21/01/2017 at 6:29 pm in Bath City, Leeds United, Life In Bath, Video Games with No Comments


… guess who forgot to pay their hosting fees? They have now been paid, but as a result, my website was down for the last two days. Did you miss anything? Unless you wanted to read stuff from the past 13 years, no. I haven’t blogged since New Year’s Day. Until now…

Since my injury, I am still using the crutch during my recovery. I have been attending Bath City home games without any difficulty, although have avoided travelling on the coach since September. Claire still goes to many of the away games. Today, Bath City were playing Oxford City. However, it was absolutely freezing everywhere. As sure as eggs are eggs, the game would be off. Did Oxford mention anything on their website or Twitter account? Did they hell. This meant Claire had to defrost her car, drive to her parents, pick them up, drive to Twerton Park, wait in the cold for the inevitable announcement that the game was off. It was. My wifey returned to me, under an hour after she left. Looking a tad pissed off and very cold indeed.

Sir David Attenborough confirms the Oxford City pitch is frozen and unplayable.

Remember when I got Grand Theft Auto 5? It was way back in 2013. I must have blogged about it. Anyway, I didn’t finish it, despite absolutely loving the series. The fact the PlayStation 3 was dying, resulting in the fan sounding like a jet engine kind of put me off playing the game. Over three years later, I am actually pleased that the PS3 did snuff it. I am finally an owner of a lush looking PlayStation 4, and guess what… GTA5 is on that too – and it looks even better than the PS3 version! I am therefore enjoying driving about Los Santos, stealing cars and killing people. It sounds atrocious, but it is the most fun since I inflicted life threatening, third degree burns on Dr Robotnik, on Sonic The Hedgehog.

Leeds are still doing worryingly well. Every time I think they’re going to slip up, they end up winning. The Mighty Whites are on Sky tonight (we’re always on Sky these days), against Barnsley. Kick off is in 11 minutes, so I had better wrap up this blog, find a few images to stick to it and upload the whole lot to WordPress.

Posted by sean on 08/09/2015 at 3:39 pm in Chocolate, Spiders, Video Games with No Comments


Ben has reminded me that the Mario Builder package for the Wii U is out this weekend. This is a game I am too excited about than I should be, considering I am a fully grown man. The game basically allows you to create your own Mario levels; playing them in traditional NES 8-bit style, with SNES ‘Super Mario World’ graphics, or in modern high resolution. My order has been placed with Amazon, and I’ll be hoping to see the game dropping no my doorstep on Saturday – or better still, Friday – morning.

I like chocolate and probably eat too much of it. Although let’s be fair, who doesn’t? I was offered some chocolate at work. Normally, I would gratefully receive and devour such an offering. However, in this case, I took a more cautious approach to consuming the ‘gift’. It was a Peppa Pig advent calendar. I seem to remember Julie bringing these into the office last Christmas, after buying them from Sainsbury’s for 15p. I left mine back then, as it didn’t taste very nice. For me to reject chocolate, it must have been bad! So not only was today’s chocolate offering of poor quality almost a year ago, it is now no doubt out of date. Despite having mid-afternoon munchies, I declined the offer. The advent calendar is now in the bin. I felt a little sad to do this to chocolate, but I didn’t really want to risk catching the bubonic plague.

With Autumn fast approaching, the nights are drawing in and the temperatures dropping. The spiders are also coming into our houses. To prevent this at home, I tend to leave our doors and windows closed, wherever possible. Ideally they would be sealed and air-tight, but I realised in doing this, that I would probably die. Ben is very prone to feel the heat, and would probably wear shorts and a t-shirt on a visit to the North Pole. As a result, he constantly has the office windows open. I raised my concerns this morning that this will attract all kinds of spiders into our office, with some huge beasts no doubt under our desks already. I was laughed at. This afternoon, we have noticed a new member of the team. Not a spider (luckily), but a cricket. He has been named Orelo – I have absolutely no idea why. I prefer to call him Batty. Batty… Bat… Cricket… Cricket bat? I give up…

Posted by sean on 13/03/2015 at 8:30 pm in Geek Stuff, Video Games with No Comments


Considering my laziness in failing to update my blog until yesterday, today’s rant is pretty ironic, as it concerns system updates and how they really grind my gears.

Yesterday’s blog about the fun-goings-on, which have taken place on my street recently, nearly didn’t happen. Please picture the scene. I was sat on the sofa, happily typing away on my laptop when everything ground to a halt. Microsoft Word stopped working and the laptop made a noise as if it was about to take off into outer-space.

I am not a man to be beaten, and knowing that the shit piece of Office software Bill Gates had put together was throwing a tantrum, I opened up Notepad to write the remainder of my story. OK, it doesn’t come with a spelling and grammar checker, but when has I evar neded one of they?

The reason for my laptop going on strike, was because one of those automatic Windows updates was being applied. Not just a little one, mind. No, this was one hefty, mother fucker of an update. It seemed to go on and on for hours, while the first half of my blog, which I had written in Word, remained on screen frozen. Luckily, I am not stupid and frequently save my work, so there was no fear of relying upon Microsoft’s auto-recover feature and losing all the blood, sweat and tears I had shed earlier.

The updates were eventually installed and the laptop rebooted – twice – to allow them to be configured. Why didn’t Microsoft tell me about this? OK, it is kind of my fault for having to auto-updates turned on. If I don’t, I’ll forget about them for about 5 years, only remembering I should really update when I see a scare on the news about how some kid in Australia is hacking everyone and stealing their Nandos loyalty points. What I do object to is one huge dump of an update being put onto my computer and preventing it from functioning, without telling me. It’s like going to the dentist for a routine check-up. He spots a problem, neglects to inform you, but carries on with the procedure anyway, and removes all your teeth, tongue and tonsils. Do dentists remove tonsils? Probably.

I am sure Bill Gates is a regular reader of my blog. After all, since stepping down as head of Microsoft, he’s bound to have more time on his hands. So, Billy – please tell your boffins in Microsoft Towers, that I would like to be warned before you shit on my laptop next time. Thanks.

It was my birthday yesterday. Yes, it was! Why don’t you all stop reading this blog for one minute to sing me ‘Happy Birthday’ or send me a belated card and cheque. I’ll give you five minutes for that…

Done? Oh good. Thanks in advance for the cheque. I made it easy for my loved ones to buy my present this year, by dropping countless numbers of hints that I would like Amazon vouchers, to enable me to purchase the Wii U console. I’m aware that this machine has been out for 2 years now, but it’s only been recently that any games that took my interest were released – namely Donkey Kong and the latest addition to the Mario Kart series.

I ordered the Wii on my birthday, paying extra for next day delivery. I waited in all day today, getting up very early, as I just knew if I slept in, the courier would attempt to deliver it, I would not be downstairs in 10 seconds, resulting in him either throwing my parcel over the garden wall or taking it back to the depot – probably in Hull.

I got up and waited. I had my breakfast. I waited a bit more. I watched 4 episodes of Keeping Up Appearances. I waited again. I ate lunch. I continued to wait. I was tempted to go to the toilet for a poo, as you can guarantee without a shadow of a doubt, that when you are mid-shit, the doorbell will go, resulting in you having to quickly pull your trousers up and run down the stairs, with a turtle head hanging between your buttocks and pants. I didn’t go to the toilet. I continued to wait, until shortly after 4pm, when a white van appeared outside. Out of the van appeared a man with a box, which he brought to the door. I had to scribble something onto his iPhone with my finger. Presumably this is an alternative to a signature these days. I put a crude S and K – my initials. It probably looked like a snake and a big ‘X’ kiss.

The Wii U was unboxed and assembled with ease. I didn’t even need to read the instructions. Then the problems started. After going through about a thousand configuration settings, the console wanted to connect to the internet, so it could perform a system update. I was given no choice, so allowed it to do so. Why do these modern consoles need so many updates? The SNES didn’t need any. The only thing you had to do with SNES games was blow into the underside of the cartridge a few times before playing it. You accepted that as it was part of the course. Over an hour it took to download and install whatever updates it needed. In which time I had a ride on my exercise bike, did the washing up, went for my poo and drank probably a pint of Coca Cola, before going back to the toilet to piss it all out.

Finally the Wii U updated itself! I was happy. Happy until I put the Mario Kart 8 disc into the machine and was told that the game wanted to be updated as well. It was at that point I got a hammer and smashed the Wii U into a million pieces.

Posted by sean on 27/02/2015 at 7:20 pm in Video Games with No Comments


Christmas 1995. I was a schoolboy. Pretty much like children nowadays, I was a video gamer. The only difference between then and now, is while kids these days are killing prostitutes on Grand Theft Auto 5, I was collecting bananas on Donkey Kong Country.

I’ve blogged about Donkey Kong in the past. When the original DKC was released, it blew my mind. So when I heard that a sequel would be released in time for Crimbo ’95, I was straight on the email to Santa Clause, except in our house we didn’t have Internet until a year later, so was forced to use pen and paper… sod that, I just asked my parents for it for Christmas.

Donkey Kong Country 2 was purchased from Electronics Boutique – which has now become ‘Game’. If the original DKC blew my mind, the second destroyed my head, intestines and pelvis. It was stunning. The character, Donkey Kong, had been kidnapped and it was up to Diddy Kong (from the original game) and his girlfriend, Dixie, to rescue him.

The game was huge. After spending almost my entire school holiday in front of the SNES, I managed to complete it and kill King K Rool, by overpowering him in his chambers and chucking him off a cliff into a pool of sharks, where he was eaten alive – yes, games really were that violent back then. I don’t see why it took Grand Theft Auto to make people realise that!

Most games nowadays have lots of extras you need to find and accomplish before you can truly ‘complete’ the title. DKC2 was no different. Each level had 2 or 3 mini-stages, which must be found and finished. There was also a huge ‘DK’ coin to locate (in every level) and also a secret island to overcome.

Back in 1995, I was in school, didn’t have a job and therefore had no money. If I wanted a new video game, I would either have to save up pocket money (which would take years) or exchange my old games at a shop. Anyone who has traded in games will know you’re getting ripped off. It is one step away from getting mugged in the street and having all your games taken off you by some dirty chav. Instead, you’re visiting a shop and allowing some dirty chav to legally take your games, give up a fiver in exchange, before selling them on for fifty quid.

What does this have to do with Donkey Kong Country 2? It has everything to do with it. Shortly after defeating King K Rool, another game was released that I liked the look of. I can’t remember what it was, but it could have been ‘Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island’. I performed thee cardinal sin of trading in the unfinished DKC2 (along with probably half a dozen other games), in exchange for the new Mario title. From memory, it wasn’t as good.

So there you have it. The potential lifetime achievement of finding and completing every single part of Donkey Kong Country 2 was never met. Until now. Avid readers of my blog will know that I received a SNES for Christmas. No, not Christmas 1995 (keep up), Christmas 2014. Following receiving the now retro console, I immediately logged onto eBay and purchased DKC2. Now, 2 months on, I have finished it. Done everything. Finito.

I may have had help from various YouTube videos, which weren’t around in 1995, but back then, there was the Nintendo Hotline. Anyone who ever had the pleasure of calling that number will remember how great it was. While some of my school chums were calling premium rate sex lines, I was racking up my parents’ phone bill ringing for video game advice. You could speak to a real person, who was actually able to give you some excellent guidance! Sadly the hotline is now dead. Never mind, I’m sure the people working there went onto bigger and better things. I hope so, they certainly helped me out…

Posted by sean on 21/11/2014 at 3:34 pm in Video Games with No Comments


Today is a special day – an important anniversary. Quite frankly, I am surprised it is not a public holiday. 20 years ago today, one of the greatest video games of all time was released to the world. I am talking, of course, about Donkey Kong Country.

Pre-DKC, I grew up with Alex the Kidd in Miracle World, before moving onto the Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This opened the international debate ‘Sonic the Hedgehog vs. The Super Mario Brothers’. It was an evenly matched contest, as both were very good games. However, when Donkey Kong appeared on the scene, it crapped all over the opposition.

In my opinion, DKC was the biggest breakthrough in video game history. It was released around the time that the Sony PlayStatation and Sega Saturn were the next generation consoles, yet only the super-rich could afford them. DKC allowed the everyday man (and child) to play a game, which looked and played easily as good as any “next-gen” title on their trusty old 16-bit SNES.

When I got a SNES for my birthday, DKC blew my mind. As well as the graphics, which still look lush today, the game was simply massive. Granted, to complete the levels, it was relatively straight-forward. To find all the hidden special stages, collect all the artefacts and secrets, took AGES. Remember, this was the pre-internet days too – there were no websites giving you 1,000 page walkthroughs or YouTube videos showing you exactly how to find and do everything.

I am proud to say, I found everything. I got 100%. Although, in DKC, it is 101% (in the sequel, DKC2, you had to find 102% and 103% in DKC3). How did I do this? A mix of very hard work, wasted youth, help from school chums and spending far too much pocket money on monthly Nintendo magazines… OK, I didn’t buy them, but I did spend many an hour in the local newsagent, treating it like a library, reading the publications cover-to-cover.

The effort that went into completing DKC was pure dedication. What’s more, unlike modern games, you couldn’t save whenever you wanted. You had to complete anything up to half a dozen levels before you could reach the next ‘save point’; which, by the way, involved jumping into a barrel, while being watched by a scantily-dressed, apparently sexy monkey, called Candy Kong. Nothing disturbing there.

The only thing that makes me wonder about DKC is the concept of the game – primarily collecting bananas. Yes, Donkey Kong is a gorilla, and gorillas like bananas, but given the fact all the bananas were yellow and had already been picked, surely by the time the game had been completed, Mr. Kong wouldn’t be able to enjoy the fruits of his work, as they would have all turned brown and soggy, like old bananas do. Oh well, in a game where you can ride a rhinoceros, ostrich and giant frog, while jumping on crocodiles, I think I can forgive that minor flaw…

Sean's Stories

On this website, you’ll find me blogging (almost) daily about everyday life, living in Bath, working with computers, and the occasional bit of football stuff thrown in.

If you're expecting The Man Booker Prize, you've come to the wrong place. If you want to read a collection of sometimes eccentric, often disturbing and rarely amusing ramblings, gorge your eyes on this.

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