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MarkN

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Everything posted by MarkN

  1. MarkN

    Cricket Thread

    Just seen this on the Guardian's weekly Youtube round-up. A crazy amount of movement:
  2. Agreed. I love this song. Can't remember where I first heard it, but back then I found a mate who shared the Chairlift album, and it did nothing for me. It's just this song. It gets bonus points for being one I can howl/yodel along to, but it's lovely enough without that...
  3. Some of the vegan burgers and sausages available are getting really good. As an aside, it strikes me as strange that the bacon alternatives seem a bit pants in comparison - given firstly that it's many veggies and vegans most-missed foods, and secondly that there are products (such as Hellman's Vegan Baconnaise) that are getting a closer flavour (OK that's a completely different product, but if I could buy veggie bacon that had a similar bacon vibe to it I absolutely would). Also, it's one of the biggest-selling meats (I know, I pick loads of the stuff for orders each day) and yet there are comparatively few veggie options available on the supermarket shelves. There must be a dozen types of veggie sausage on the shelves and in the freezers where I work, and about half of them are pretty bloody good. There may be 4 or 5 types of fake bacon, and I don't think any of them are even remotely ballpark to the actual thing, on flavour alone, let alone texture (which is even worse, and usually it's clear no effort has been made to even attempt to replicate it).
  4. Crystelle's focaccia sounded amazing, even if it didn't rise properly. Feta, roasted grape*, walnut and a few fennel bits - yowzer! I could do with a big plate of those breadsticks (done well) right now too - they sounded amazing. But yeah - Giuseppe was brilliant there. *I'm going to have to try roasting grapes - I've seen it mentioned a few times in the last few months. I usually just freeze them - love a frozen grape.
  5. I genuinely don't know. I'm guessing for fruit and veg it probably comes from the same farms, so maybe there's degrees of grading - these are for the top end range, these are good enough for standard, these are good enough for basics, and the rest get binned, possibly. So, I'd guess it's mostly automated, so size and shape, and maybe appearance? I'm all for buying the basic stuff on anything simple like fruit and veg, tinned tomatoes and I think flavour-wise they're usually on a par with the regular stuff. I mean - a carrot is just a carrot at the end of the day. As an aside, one of the things that I liked about the basics range was that I could see if an order I had to pick was full of basics easily, because it was just orange. It meant if I picked another basic product I probably knew with order to put it in, so was marginally faster. Also, it showed where people wouldn't compromise. I'd get orders where 80% of the stuff in it was basics - so they're clearly keen on saving money, there'd be several products in there where there was no basic alternative, but then there'd be a pot of Taste The Difference custard, or some really nice cheese. I only recall ever picking one shop that was entirely basics. That must take some willpower, because the range isn't that comprehensive. FWIW - the other basics ranges that I recall are - meat and fish products became J. James Butchers, tinned stuff became Hubbard's, chilled products (ready meals etc) became Stamford Street, and cleaning prducts became 24/7.
  6. They've just been rebranded to these: The whole Sainsbury's Basics range got rebranded a while back. So the snacks are now branded "Just Snax", the dairy is "Mary Ann's Dairy", the veg is "Imperfectly Tasty" etc. There's loads of them, and the packaging no longer has standard colours, so it's less clear.
  7. If you like coconut these are really good. Crispy toasted coconut shreds with just a hint of salt to them. They'd be nice without the salt, and it's quite subtle, but it just lifts them so much. I could scoff these all day:
  8. I'm suddenly interested in this. Rab Florence wrote some great articles for Eurogamer and RPS.
  9. Ooh! Haven't seen those. I prefer dark choccy, so I'd probably share your opinion. Will keep a look out for them...
  10. This has just been announced - see here: RichCast Article I became aware of it just over a week a go when I was invited to be a creator, by one of my old bosses, Philip Oliver. Sounds interesting. It's a platform for audio interactive fiction, where you interact purely through speech. The main idea being speech recognition has got good enough to be pretty reliable, and artificial speech is ballpark enough to be acceptable, so we're in a place where you can just converse with AI characters to play a game (they have a library of 100s of computer voices to use, but you can replace with actual speech if you want, which is probably a plan in many cases, tbh). As a (one-time) game designer it intrigues me. Especially the idea for games that don't need graphics at all (I've played a couple of games for blind people, and they can work very well). I've got ideas buzzing around my head, but story-based is not the strongest area for me. I've got an idea I'm fairly keen on though - just need to find the time to work on it. I've had a quick play with the software - it seems pretty simple. They're currently looking for early content to build a launch catalogue for the platform, so are looking for creators to commission - writers, artists, logic (they've not specified coders because it's super simple to use, but if you can code you'd do it standing on your head), audio (which I'm guessing includes voice work). I'm hopefully going to put together a pitch in the next week or so. I thought other folk here might be interested in this as an opportunity though. You can sign up here, if you're interested: https://www.panivox.com/
  11. Seems pretty strong to me. I rewatched the first episode of this series again last night - it's a cracking opener, and hopefully the start of a great series. I don't think there's a weak link in the contestants - they were all good fun. Alan Davies is a great addition. He can switch between being amusingly incompetent and actually pretty shrewd at the drop of a hat, and is perfectly happy being the butt of jokes, or self-deprecating. He fills the "old codger" role beautifully. But Morgana definitely looks set to be the star of the series (I love a good swear, and she's very good at it).
  12. Maybe we need a chocolate-based thread then? I don't eat that much of the stuff, but I do like decent quality stuff. Have you tried these? I'm not the biggest fan of Lindt chocolate generally, but as a hazelnut fan myself I do find these rather good:
  13. He does absolutely look the part. Full of malice and prepared to fucking wait this out, and boy are you going to be sorry about it. Fingers very much crossed.
  14. It does. There's not much there, but it looks very promising. Really looking forward to this.
  15. MarkN

    Nirvana

    Wasn't the Nevermind baby guy on Never Mind The Buzzcocks or something similar? I'm sure he turned up somewhere. If so claiming he never benefitted from it would be demonstrably false, surely? But anyway - 30 fucking years...
  16. Just realised we have VCM and Morgana Robinson on the same show. Jesus, I'll probably just burst. Don't mind me over here bursting, because hot damn...
  17. Gutted I only caught the last half of it, but was pleased to see the vegan thing being taken seriously (again, tbh). I'm not vegan, but I manage the odd month here and there. I still buy leather boots, just because I want them to last, so whilst I'm vegetarian (because that applies to diet only) I can't be vegan because that's lifestyle-based. I don't care either way. I just do my best. Enjoyed the bit I saw. I really liked the Wave with dolphins show-stopper even if it was bit cheaty and collapsed afterwards, but I fancy Crystelle, so she's my favourite, but Jürgen looks like he might be hard to beat. I still love Bake-Off, basically...
  18. Just a very minor one, but I've just made a tomato sauce for a pizza base from tinned toms, and I always and only ever use whole plum tomatoes, and then smoosh them down as I'm cooking them, or blitz them at the end (same for every recipe that calls for tinned toms). Never cans of chopped tomatoes. They don't taste as nice. The extra effort in smooshing, or blitzing is worth it. I don't trust my palette particularly much on many things, but on this I'm sure. (It helps that back when I first noticed, a guy who was trying to make the perfect pizza said exactly the same thing - possibly confirmation bias on my part, but I liked the cut of that guy's jib...)
  19. I am absolutely in love with her. As a poker player she was great fun. First person to win the Euro PokerStars tournament twice, and all the while being lovely and chatty and drinking tea, whilst her opponents were often surly bastards in shades and hoodies trying to be as inscrutable as possible. Her book on Poker "For Richer, For Poorer" is well worth a read. Her earlier book Once More With Feeling covers her attempts with a friend to make the best porn film ever (where they forget to put any straight sex in, IIRC. Got everything else in, just not actual bog standard sex). Her persona on Only Connect takes some getting used to, but it makes me laugh. Also, there's the Ormerod Hoax, which is kinda funny. I suspect she'll be quite a lot of fun on TM (possibly in a Liza Tarbuck kind of way):
  20. This could be American-centric where food standards are much lower (for now), but still it sounds like a daft risk to take given some of the possible outcomes. From here: https://smokedandbrewed.com/is-smoked-bacon-fully-cooked/
  21. This inspired me to take a walk out to the large Tesco this morning. I had a few things I wanted from Tesco, but these sounded right up my street, and I doubt they'd have them in the one in town which much to the chagrin of some locals has been switched from a Metro to an Express. Ohmigosh - they're very good. Like eating crispy, crunchy, butter. Exactly my sort of thing - simple, but so well done. I might have to have another walk out to pick up a few more packs before the offer disappears. I was half tempted to grab a pack of the cinnamon and brown sugar ones, and also the lemon-y things in the same range, but was worried they'd be too sweet for me. Also, I can't be trusted with biscuits at the best of times, so having loads around is probably a bad move. The reasoning I use to dissuade myself from many an impulse buy holds true - "I'd only eat them". (The basic thinking being it's all calories I wouldn't have otherwise eaten. I might make an exception for these though.)
  22. MarkN

    Tiny games

    I love the fact that just wedging the opposition player in either goal when you've established a lead is a perfectly valid tactic. I tend to play strictly by the rules when there are some, but when there aren't the gloves come off.
  23. MarkN

    Tiny games

    Lost the final 3-5 to Argentina. Gutted! So much fun though!
  24. MarkN

    Tiny games

    Good grief, this has pretty much reduced me to tears laughing. In 4 quick games I have scored some of the unluckiest own goals ever, and scored some of the flukiest ones too. It's so funny. Random, but funny.
  25. I was Commodore all the way (Vic 20 , C64, various miggys) but my mate back in the day had a Spectrum, and so i played on it loads. After 20 years in the industry, looking back it was so important to the Britsh scene. Monty Mole and Manic Miner and all sorts of stuff that was quintessentially British came about because of him. Absolute legend. Also, I lived in a seaside town with a large promenade. Someone was were hiring out C5s to tourists so they could drive up and down it, and making a mint. (I remember one guy showing off to his mates on a scorching hot day, going as fast as he could, then slamming the brakes on to skid. Probably not the first time he'd done it. Just when he did it this time both the tyres burst). I definitely wouldn't want to be in one on the road, but the idea of electric vehicles/bicycles was ahead of its time.
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