Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

Feel free to email me at:
Google+: www.google.co.uk/+MarkAdams1970
Feel free to add me to your PS3: scooby1970
Flikr - My Photos: www.flickr.com/photos/markyboyo/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/scooby1970
Twitter: www.twitter.com/markyboyo

I've just started a new blog for my upcoming book releases: http://mark-adams-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

Also check out my 10 Quick Facts for more sites I run.

Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Friday, 26 June 2009

Farrah Fawcett & Michael Jackson... Deceased.

I got up this morning and I was greeted by the news from Sara that Michael Jackson had died. At first I thought she was pulling my leg, however I turned the TV on and she was indeed right. It's not often I'm shocked or upset at celebrity deaths, but last night before I went to bed I heard the news that Farrah Fawcett had died. This shocked me as she was only 62 and I'd remembered her as a huge part of growing up in the 1970's and 1980's.

However, Michael Jackson's death has really astounded me. He was just 50 years old and during the 1980's I loved his music and ingenious videos. We all know that he had a lot of turmoil in his later years, however during his “hit” period he was damn good.

The last time I remember anything similar to this was the day that Elvis Presley died. Yes I was only 7, however today brought those memories flooding back. Of course there was comparing Elvis to Wacko, Elvis was a genuine hero, a genuine talent who changed music as we know it. Jackson came close, and I know a lot of people loved his music so, it's to all those people I say “Michael, Rest In Piece”.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Music, Games & Other things...

How music listening has changed
Wow, I was not expecting those notes to the right to be so big! But in one way it's ok because that is the scale of things. This week I have started selling my music collection (and the odd DVD or game) to Music Magpie. The principal is you input the bar-code and it offers you a price. These prices per CD range from 30p to £3 so it's not too bad.

There used to be a time when I would sell music on eBay, however most of these CDs I am selling to Music Magpie are things I just do not listen to anymore, or I can listen to by other means (which I will come to later). The thing is, I have over 500 CDs cluttering the place up, so I was just going to throw them all away, on eBay most of them would not sell, and those that sell I would have to pay various fees to eBay, Paypal etc, and it's all too much like hard work with that many CDs.

Anyway, why sell? Simple answer, the way we listen to music has changed, and the way I listen to music definitely has changed. When at home now I stream most of my music on the wonderful Spotify free service, it has every track I can think of that I would ever want to listen to and there's always a PC on at my home. When I'm on my PS3 console, we have Vidzone which which is the video playing equivalent of Spotify (but with less selection), so of course that is ideal for a nice relaxing half hour. On the PC, Youtube now has a playlist feature which is also an ideal way to listen to any music you want, when you want!

On top of that I have my 80GB iPod only a third filled with over 250 albums, anything I download now goes straight on there and there's lots of room for much much more. The iPod goes everywhere with me and contains all my favourite albums, and then some! If I ever forget that, I have my Samsung Pixon phone with built in radio and an 8GB memory which is also used for my very favourite albums.

So, in general, the way I listen to music has vastly changed over the last couple of years. Of course, I will still keep my Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Jan & Dean, Beatles, Madonna and a few other artists collections on CD, but that will probably total around only 120 Cds or so that saves much more space. Ahhhh, how things have changed!

Personal gaming update
A lot of time has been spent on the Guitar Hero, Rock band and Singstar games lately, basically because they are fun and everyone in the family can enjoy them. Also, to be fair, I enjoy them to, though sometimes I do enjoy solitude and escape to my own world with games just for me.

I spent a few hours on Ford Racing 2 on the PS2, I only paid 50p for it, and to be honest, once I got into the handling of the cars I enjoyed every bit of it. I've unlocked loads, including all the rally stages. On top of that myself and Karl had a session of Motorstorm 2 and Dirt last week, which was highly entertaining... It's all racing games!

I was going to buy Fight Night Round 4 boxing, however, until they add back the buttons from Round 3 I think I will steer clear of it. It looks stunning, is really fast and is probably the closest a game has come to real boxing, however I will stick with Round 3 until they add the button changes or the price drops!

I'm still working on my top 50 games. I've actually typed them all out, I've just not ordered them into the correct order yet.

The best of the rest
I'm still enjoying using Twitter. I think of it as an easier way of blogging, basically I can say my little things, then a couple of times a week I can blog as I am doing now. This makes things a whole lot easier, and I am so addicted to it. People can not understand why I do it, but I know family and friends follow me so keep up with what I am doing, I know other people follow me and interact, and I also learn a lot from some of the useful Tweeters out there.

Time is getting closer to The Beatles box-sets. £169.99 for the stereo set (14 Cds and a DVD) and £199.99 for the mono set (13CDs & a DVD). This is the cheapest I have found them on Play.com. Luckily for me I had a voucher, so it knocked £20 odd off the price. Also, I am downloading "deluxe" editions of all the albums in the .flac format, these versions contain stereo, mono and sessions, however they are just an interim "fix" until the official remastered versions are released on 09.09.09.

My Internet connection is a funny thing. My home in Swansea is just outside the City Centre and my connection varies from 1MB to 2.5MB. It's quite odd, and as much as the government bullshits about making sure everyone has over 2MB lines, I think it will be many years before EVERYONE in the UK gets that. When in Aberystwyth we use a mobile broadband dongle which gives us speeds of around half a meg, it does the job, but it's not ideal.

Until next time, hope you enjoyed this longer than usual blog. More to come soon!

:) Mark

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

It's all politics

First Politics
So, we had the European Elections this month. Sadly it was not the local or national elections, perhaps then Gordon Brown would not be with us. But it did give the every day person a chance to make their voices heard. Only a third of people voted though, which I find quite shocking. That's why, in the coming months I will be getting involved in politics, hopefully standing for a local seat in this area of Neath Port Talbot.

I was looking at the voting results for Wales (and especially Ceridigion where I reside for a lot of the time), and I was shocked to see BNP in fifth place! Bollocks to Labour and Conservative, and hat's off to UKIP and Plaid Cymru for doing really well. This country needs a change and it needs one fast. The economy is failing, the National Health Service and Public Transport are falling to pieces, Unemployment is out of control, and then there's the immigration and European migration problems.

The trouble is for myself when voting, is that I like huge parts of certain parties policies and mandates, yet disagree with other bits. Labour and Conservative are irrelevant to me, middle of the road policies that are just damaging the country. I like what Plaid Cymru stand for and I like a lot of their policies, the same goes for UKIP, though they would want to get rid of the Welsh Assembly, which is probably the only thing I disagree about that party. The BNP have it right though for a lot of what they say, however the press seem intent on destroying all they have to say by making up a lot of lies about them. So, what I would like to see is the best of the three parties that I have mentioned.

I have a wide circle of friends, of all ages and all colours, during this election process I talked to them a hell of a lot. I had to find out what the 18 and 19 year old working lads thought, I had to find out what my ethnic buddies thought, and I was shocked to find out that almost all females I know just did not care one bit about voting!!! The overall feel was that of major discontent with the way the country is now. The two biggest dis concerning topics were unemployment (and the thought they would not have a job in the near future) and immigration (and European migration). I was shocked to find that a number of my Sri Lanken and Pakistani friends would seriously have voted BNP if the BNP would just let coloured people into their parties. I was also shocked that no-one under 25 that I know wanted Labour or Conservative, and either did not want to vote or wanted to vote UKIP, BNP or Plaid Cymru.

Politics is a funny old game, all I know is who I voted and why. All I know is the UK, and Wales in particular need a huge change, pull out of Europe, make Britain for the British once again and yet again be a proud Nation.

It was my Grandfather who said to me in one of his last chats while he was alive... "I fought for this Country in World War II. I fought for freedom, for the British people, and now I can not leave my house for fear of all the foreigners in my town. I fought for nothing, my friends died for nothing, and I know that's how a lot of them feel. Mark, we were let down, use your vote to change Britain and make it a better place once more".

I voted every single opportunity since, and I will always vote to make this country Great Britain again.

Transport Routes In Wales
God! It takes me three hours to get from Swansea to Aberystwyth by bus (X40), and this is the quickest form of public transport available to us here in Wales. If I was to take the train, it would take between 5 and 9 hours depending on the day and time!!!

Public Transport Routes between North, Mid and South Wales are basically prehistoric. The main service is the X40 which has two journeys from Cardiff and three journeys from Swansea daily to and from Aberystwyth. Once in Aberystwyth you then have to change buses to the X32 service to reach North Wales (Bangor)!!!

Why in this day and age is there no train from South Wales to Mid and North Wales direct? Instead we have to go via Shrewsbury which is one hell of a detour! Surely a track from Camathern to join at Aberystwyth would make sense? And a track from Aberystwyth to Bangor via a coastal route for both tracks?

Seriously, as great a Nation as Wales is, it's public transport sucks! And if you think it's any better in a car you have another thing coming. Once you leave the main roads of built up areas, the roads are a hazard to even the best driver. Surely the Welsh Assembly could spend a little money on making the roads just a little bit wider so cars can actually pass each other without fear of certain collision?

Rant over for now... But more to come!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Beatles

Ok, so I've always been quite a fan of The Beatles, "Rubber Soul" has been played by me on many occasions over the years, and I own the entire CD catalogue. However, recently I've really got into the sound and feel of this amazing band. I recently, for the first time bought a "real" copy of the "1" album, and boy have I enjoyed it. To complement it I've also bought the Red album 1962-1966 and the Blue album 1967-1970.

On September 9th 2009 the entire Beatles catalogue is being re-released as a stereo box-set with additional DVD and a mono box-set. Along with this they are also releasing Rock Band Beatles which includes 45 of thier hit singles in the game.

Now, for me, although I will get all of this as close to release as possible, it's probably the mono box-set that I am most excited about buying. There's something special about the mono mixes that are lost in the stereo transition. Of course, stereo is good, but The Beatles actually spent 90% of thier time making and mastering the mono mixes, and the other 10% was left to the engineers to fulfill the stereo mix of the albums or singles.

Take "Rubber Soul" for example. Stereo version (which is the one available on CD) is great, it's a new 1987 mix that appears on this version which is a nice listen. The original 1965 stereo mix has singing on one side and music on the other, and again is quite nice. However, the mono mix is a whole new ballgame! This is how it was meant to be heard, and you'll hear things in the mixes that were lost with the sloppy stereo mixing was done on the albums.

It's going to be a great year for The Beatles... and my next post will be "5 must have things in 2009", and right up there will be The Beatles re-masters. I've recently downloaded "The US Singles collection", a 3-CD collection of the single released in mono in the US, and that has been a great listen, so these new re-masters should be fantastic!!!!

:) Mark